The Art of Cohesion: Chanel’s & Dior’s 2016 Resort collections

It has now become clear that the typical blank background of nineties runway shows is not enough anymore to make a collection stand out. What the luxury-devoted public craves is the full experience, not only in being pampered with an exclusive show but also in assisting to an all-round production that makes you feel part of the brand itself. More often than not, the background maintains visual cohesion with the collection presented, making the event all about buying into the brand identity as well as purchasing the clothes. Both Chanel and Dior’s shows give ample proof of the importance of placing a well-designed collection into an architecturally relevant stage. It’s the details, after all, that make all the difference.

At Dior, it was all about playfulness and sweetness, perfectly translated into fluid fabrics, jaunty ensembles and soft round lines that tied in with the bauble-like shapes of the surrounding Palais Bulles owned by Pierre Cardin. A youthful look and an eye to the future did not prevent Mr Simons from looking back, too. The bar jacket, which Simons has often left out of his collections since his arrival at Dior, was there in all its glory, mutated for a season into long-sleeved tops gently nipped in at the waist. The catwalk held no constrictions. Gowns and mini-skirts alike flowed and flapped with exhilarated freshness, alternatively giving space to elegant paint suits covered in safari-worth pockets and delicate sundresses in colourful prints. The eponymous tailoring skills of the petites mains gave the clothes a touch of sharpness, balancing out Simon’s modern attitude with a dash of essential Dior.

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However, the strongest tie between setting and clothes was woven at Chanel. In Seoul, Lagerfeld found the zesty inspiration he was looking for. As Korea reaches out to the world with its pop culture and flamboyant oestrus, Chanel borrows a little of its cultural heritage and attitude to create a collection infused with energy and colour. While the first part of the collection was more akin to a candy shop expo than to a Chanel show, it felt young and fun without the need of sneakers and sparkly tracksuits. Chanel’s elegance was there, with a softly whispered “je m’en fous” barely spotted between the threads. Structured tweed jackets followed – some cinched at the waist, while others were a little boxier. Couture-like gowns swept the public away in a midst of jewelled flowers and delicate paper appliqués. Nevertheless, while embroidery was very much a part of the collection, the undisputed protagonists were the typically Korean patchwork technique and the sumptuous closing ensembles, with full skirts that bloomed out right above the chest and wide colourful sleeves. There was modern Korea winking at us from behind the folds of the clothes, but Lagerfeld made sure to nod back to Korean heritage and celebrate the beauty of its art in all forms. It was fun, loving and unexpected – an explosive mix that can’t go unnoticed.


Written by: Alice Demurtas

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