A wooden dollhouse stood in the middle of a garden, against a backdrop of calm trees and a cloudless blue sky. Wood steps lay on the grass, coming out of the house’s porch and over a narrow pool of water, forming a pathway you’d think belonged to a Zen garden! One by one, models walked out, in outfits as tranquil as the backdrop – poised and chic.
The silhouettes included midi and knee-length pencil skirts worn over short tweed jackets with rounded collars and oval sleeves. Plus some midi dresses, flared pants and culottes. The second half of the show also brought evening dresses, gowns and capes. The color palette was the first thing you’d notice, all sorts of beige – as the description says “ecru, ivory, sand, dove, putty, taupe and mocha”.
Inspired by the house itself, as Karl Lagerfeld noted in the narrative of the collection, “Gabrielle Chanel was the Queen of beige”.
For the nature-inspired Chanel Spring Summer 2016 couture collection, the beauty really is in the details. Tiny wood pieces and shavings were used with leather, beads and rhinestones for embellishments. The use of wood is both sublimely original and engaging. Not necessarily glam, but serene. Organza, tweed and chiffon were used in fabrics. While smartphone sized fanny packs adorned the waists, two-tone cork platform heels adorned the feet. Although we don’t prefer cork platforms, the smartphone pouch is one accessory we would want to become a wardrobe staple this year!
Especially after the recent Chanel 2016 Pre-Fall fashion show ‘Paris in Rome’, the nature inspiration here is very different, unexpected and innovative. The nature inspiration also showed in the creative jewelry and embellishments. Bees were in abundance – both wooden and metallic – adorned with rhinestones and pearls – embellishing sleeves, making brooches, single earrings and on fanny packs.
Evening gowns were embellished and floor-touching, sometimes with sheer capes, or sometimes with crop boleros. And fringes. A sequin crop maxi had little flowers, leaves, bees and butterflies embroidered on it. The colors also introduced darker hues, to mocha and black, and a hint of blue. My most favorite was the beige and ivory sequin outfit shown above with cape. Others include the black gown worn by Kendall Jenner and a black bolero with satin silk pencil skirt.
The finale outfit was a bridal dress- also one of my favorites. It was strapless and well above the ankle, with chiffon floral applique, leather and wood fragments and a floor-grazing cape.
Chanel Spring Summer 2016 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]