Friday, 1 April 2011

Chanel: those rat bastards

Strong words! But I've finally gotten around to looking at the new collections from Fashion Week (being behind the times, it's super cool) and Chanel has left me a bit confused. On first watch, the menswear post-apocalyptic aesthetic combined with nods to the classic Chanel jacket was kind of awesome, but on browsing through the slideshow, I probably hate about 70% of what's going on. Jumpsuits! Pegged trousers! Horrendous low kitten heels! The occasional awesome knit and goth-as-fuck floaty dress cannot really make up for these things.

Things I liked: I found this coat grungily charming, and I quite like the styling too - it's a very wearable winter look, plus it could be dressed up easily. This dress made me go OH OH OH IT IS MY FAVOURITE because it's just so totally the Gothpocalypse Fairy Princess, although I would have liked to see it with different boots (possibly a little higher rather than this weird schlumpy socky ankle thing?) The preponderance of boots I do approve of - a solid flattish boot is imperative in winter, and these were pleasantly stompy without being overwrought army surplus-esque. There were a couple of long knit dresses which I think are totally beautiful - I really liked the knitwear in general, especially with the occasional pop of metallic. Jil Sander did metallic jumpers a little while back, and they always help to glam up an otherwise sombre, schlumpy and potentially dreary knit. 

I really like this dress - it has a silhouette I've been loving, with the giant puffed sleeves and the tunic-y dress, and I think it's adorably silly and someone should wear it to the VMAs or something of that nature. The surplus of trousers made me a bit sad because I am a skirts gal, so the few dresses I saw kind of jumped out at me. I also initially liked the vintage 50s-style boxy jackets in all their incarnations - houndstoothcropped, generally totally adorable (although not being particularly fond of trousers, I'd likely wear them over a pencil or circle skirt and thus totally ruin the edgy new menswear-meets-womenswear Karl Lagerfeld was undoubtedly going for).

BUT THEN. Apparently these cute little nod-to-the-past jackets are actually A SINGLE PIECE SEWN TOGETHER WITH THE OVERSIZED BLAZERS THEY ARE LAYERED OVER. Yes, that did need to be in all caps. Those rat bastards at Chanel, they couldn't just do a cute cropped vintage-style jacket and leave it alone, they had to sew it into an oversized boyfriend blazer. Ugh. And that leads me on, to...

The things I did not like: Jumpsuits. This flatters nothing. Absolutely nothing. The dropped waist jumpsuit needs to die in short order, please and thank you. For added oddity, here's a jumpsuit made out of quilted leather. Yes, I realise that it's a nod to the 2.55 quilted bag, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea. If it was a pencil skirt, or just the quilted cropped jacket worn over something tweedy or knitwear, or ANYTHING other than a jumpsuit, I might have been more on board, but as it is, it is doing bad bad things to her crotch. And just because I'm a sucker for punishment, here is further proof that jumpsuits are never a good idea. Plus there's another appearance of those god-awful low kitten heels, which showed up throughout the whole show, and are unspeakably frumpy and awful. I'm utterly perplexed as to why you'd even use them in a runway show, when you can generally make models wear shoes as high as you'd like (unlike real life, where I would like to wear my hot-pink-and-cream suede five-inch platform heels every day but given that I have to do things like walk from the station to my office it's kind of impossible). 

I was also perplexed by this dress, because it just seems so utterly undesirable and foldy and weird, and this in its entirety left me screaming IT LOOKS LIKE STUDENT WORK. Overthought, overwrought, and her pants are SHEER FROM THE KNEE DOWN. WHAT. There were also a preponderance of pegged pants and oversized boyfriend blazers, of which this was the least awful, but STILL. The loose blazer and pegged trousers has been around for a while. Katie goddamn Holmes has been pegging her trousers and wearing them with an oversized blazer for nigh-on years. DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE LIKE KATIE HOLMES, KARL?

So, in summation: jumpsuits, included quilted jumpsuits, pegged trousers, oversized blazers and awful low heels equals NO NO NO, but if I were to take inspiration from Chanel for this winter, I'd be all about the boots, the chunky-meets-glam-metallic knitwear, vintage tweedy jackets and perhaps a bit of Floaty Chiffon Goth just for fun. I shan't rescind my 'rat bastard' rating, because NOBODY should sew a perfectly decent cropped jacket onto an oversized blazer, but I think despite its oddities, there are some worthwhile looks hidden underneath the Menswear Grunge.

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