I wasn’t impressed when I started watching the Chanel Fall-Winter 2016/17 haute couture fashion show. It wasn’t that the first couple of outfits were bad, it was just that I was expecting so much after the previous few collections by Karl Lagerfeld. But like fine vintage wine, it just got better and better as the show progressed, and Ça Va, the upbeat soundtrack played in the background. I was wowed by the end of the show, left wanting to wear each and every outfit.
This couture fashion show was dedicated to the seamstresses. That’s why the runway was designed after the ateliers, recreating the mannequins, sewing machines, mirrors, et al.
Fittingly (pun unintended), the collection paid lots of attention to craftsmanship, cut and structure. It involved neatly pleated skirts and culottes, monochromatic or camouflaged embellishments, floral embroidery and cool design elements like ruffles and collars (or built-in chokers)!
The collection included monochromatic outfits, loads of head-to-toe black, pastels and neutrals like pink, charcoal, sand white and ecru. The silhouettes encompassed coats, mini dresses, culottes, crop-flared pants, jackets, skirt-suits.
And although I can list twenty, but to cut the article short, here are the 10 things to love about this Chanel Fall-Winter 2016/17 couture collection:
#1: Sharp Shoulder-Cuts
It’s like Chanel made a big case for shoulder-pads, without using shoulder-pads. The collection showed “beveled or angular cut shoulders, held with stitches create a “standing up” effect, framing a flat profile without any padding,” according to the fashion show description.
#2: Lashed Out Makeup
The beauty looks were eye-catchy, placing emphasis on the eyes! Extra-long, extended lashes were paired with white eyeshadow, evenly extending up to the brows. This enlarged, and in fact, exaggerated the eyes.
#3: Ribbon Headband + Curly Topknot
Well, not exactly. The models had their hair curled up and tightly tied at the top of the head in a frizzy bunch, tied together with a black ribbon tied in a bow.
#4: Winter Culottes & Crop Formal Jackets
Culottes don’t have to be a summer thing and crop jackets don’t have to be a casual thing. A fresh twist on trends challenges tried and tested fashion norms, and that is the whole point of couture.
#5: Draped Boots and Arm-Warmers
Black hand/arm warmers and ruched over-the-knee boots are this season’s quintessential black accessories for the Chanel woman.
#6: Asymmetric Long Tops with Embroidered Undersides
Long tops with curvy or pointed backs (butt-capes) had embellished or embroidered under-sides, and were worn over pencil skirts.
#7: The Necktie
We’ve been seeing women’s tuxedos, but ties are rare on the runways in womenswear collections. This one features a broad white necktie with a rose brooch!
#8: The Shoulder Crown
A wave of ruffled fabric contoured over the shoulders of some outfits, which I like to call the “shoulder crown”. It’ll be unmissable at a party so I’m expecting to see it on the red carpet soon!
#9: Button Embellishments
We saw plenty of large buttons and royalty-inspired embellished buttonholes.
#10: The Bottle Dress
Say what you may, but the silhouette of these dresses reminds me of a perfume bottle, and I’m not complaining.
Chanel Fall-Winter 2016/17 Haute Couture Collection: Gallery
Shilpa Ahuja a designer and entrepreneur. She is the editor-in-chief of ShilpaAhuja.com, which she founded with the goal of inspiring confidence in the modern working woman through fashion.
Fashion has traditionally been for the rich, white, thin woman. That’s how it evolved over centuries and that’s how it’s been represented in fashion media. But Shilpa believes that with the changing role of women in the society, fashion has changed, too. She believes that fashion is for everyone, regardless of their age, gender, color, body type and background. So she translates runway fashion into easy style advice that one can incorporate into their daily lives.
Shilpa’s work has been published in the University of Fashion blog and Jet Airways magazine. She is also an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys creative writing and world travel. Her art has been exhibited at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh and been published in Chandigarh Times.
Originally from Chandigarh, Shilpa also has a professional degree in architecture and has worked in interior project management. She is also the author of the book “Designing a Chinese Cultural Center in India”. Shilpa has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University. For feedback and questions, please email [email protected]