Chanel Pre-Fall 2012 Collection

Posted on December 13, 2011

India continues to have a fashion moment; this time, it’s Uncle Karl’s turn to look to the Maharajas for inspiration. The title was “Paris-Bombay,” and it’s all appropriately gorgeous and opulent. We tend to think it all gets a bit too literal at points and that certainly isn’t helped by the styling. But the fabrics and shapes and details are exquisite. This collection has a younger feel, for Chanel. These are clothes for jetsetting heiresses; young and hip, with plenty of money to spend and places to wear these clothes.

 

[Photo Credit: gorunway.com]

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  • http://twitter.com/LianaBrooks Liana Brooks

    Love it! Can the headpieces please come into style? And I need one of those blue dresses…

    • http://profiles.google.com/marteani Barbara Guttman

      Yes please headpieces.  I am forever bemoaning the difficulty of finding decent hats, headbands headpieces and non-woolen scarves.

      The scarf thing might be seasonal but I’d still wear some of those headpieces.

    • Anonymous

      I like this collection a lot, but it just doesnt seem very CHANEL. It’s cool to see the mix of both but in terms of clothing I think Mcqueen, Galliano, and JPG all did more interesting things with an Indian inspiration.

      But the jewelry and especially the headpieces?? I’m with you there girl. Phenomenal and my favorite part.

      • foodycat

        I love the tikkas, but I do feel that they only work with a centre parting, and my face does not like a centre parting!

        • Anonymous

          Tikkas!  Thank you for providing the correct word!

        • Sobaika Mirza

          Mostly they only work with center parting – which I cannot do – but there are some that are meant for the side of your head: http://cdn.glamcheck.com/fashion/files/2010/02/Indian-bridal-hair-jewelry.jpg 

      • http://twitter.com/DarthJaeda Jaeda Laurez

        I agree, especially with JPG- this looks more like a costume than just inspiration, and the pieces feel super heavy. 

      • Anonymous

        Honestly, very little of Chanel in the past few years has seemed very CHANEL to me.  Lagerfeld has strayed far, sometimes, from my favorite strands of that legacy.  (I’m sure he’d be relieved to hear it, should he deign to acknowledge the existence of such a non-clothes horse peon as myself).

  • Anonymous

    unfortunate timing, since all the major media outlets are doing stories on the missing women of India and how it’s fashionable to kill your daughters. Still, there’s no denying that’s the prettiest thing we’ve seen all week.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      Because India can’t be about more than one thing, right? It can’t have an opulent history and have issues with infanticide. 

      Give me a break. When Dries Van Noten had Iraqi-themed pieces right before the Gulf War, that was unfortunate timing. This is a beautiful collection.

      • Anonymous

        Preach.

      • Anonymous

        Oh relax. It’s been on 20/20, the front page of the Huff, the front page of AOl and now Yahoo. All in the last four days. So yeah. Bad. Timing. There’s NO country that doesn’t have issues along with a history. It’s just THE TIMING that sticks out here.

        • Anonymous

          Nothing links this collection and that story besides the country. The timing is irrelevant. Nothing in the collection makes you think “gee this reminds me of the disappearances of indian women.” That is just a news story, not even one dominating the news. If we were talking about the afore-mentioned Dries Van Noten collection, then yeah. The rodarte Mexican snafu? Absolutely. If this were a collection inspired by Catholic choir attire when the sex scandals were all over the news, then sure. Awful timing. But this? No. Just no. They having nothing in common besides a subcontinent. Nothing about this collection is inappropriate. What comes across – regardless of if that were your intention – is that you have such a myopic view of a place and a people that two arbitrary things (one being fashion, one being socio-political) are inherently linked. Ya digg?

          • Anonymous

            Really? It’s not on your mind? Six million missing Indian women in the news and that’s a minor story? Sheesh, well. Tell me: how many have to go missing before it hits your radar? I don’t see this as ANY different than ‘dress named bagdad, oops, war broke out’. This is exactly the same; Hey, India-inspired collection, all the news outlets are doing stories on the Indian Census…that’s MISSING SIX MILLION FEMALES. Is it the ONLY thing that comes to mind? Of course not; there are some very pretty pieces in there. Oh, wait. I SAID that, didn’t I? But yes. Given the prevalance of that particular news story in a collection so CLEARLY borrowing from India, it does indeed come to mind. Why is that a problem? Or is real life not supposed to intrude on fantasy?

          • http://twitter.com/omg_dora Dora K.

            The difference is there is no actual war or other particular disaster happening in India right this week. It’s just a week where some of the American news sources that YOU consume decided to deal with what is an ongoing issue on the subcontinent. Neither French couture houses nor the nation of India are probably too concerned with what issue is hot on HuffPost right now, nor should they be.

          • Anonymous

            Wow. I make an observation, you’da thunk I blamed the designer for the missing women. But the fact remains: something DID happen. The census numbers came out, several news stories have been run regarding the numbers (wow! Just like when OUR census numbers came out, and someone had a chance to sift through them, and it was discovered that there was an interesting trend in discussing heritage, and we all talked about THAT for a while).
            And while it’s sadly, true, that women the world over are murdered or aborted based merely on the fact that they are women, it’s particularly interesting in regards to recent news stories for a couple of reasons that stand out in my mind. One being, India is currently in the midst of an economic upturn. Modern technologies have become more affordable and it is, in fact, the population that is affected by the UPturn in economics (and thus the available technology) that is availing themselves of these services.
            So India is having a ‘fashion moment’. Is it POSSIBLE that India’s fashion moment is inspired by the fact that India has been in our peripheral vision lately in a way that you couldn’t really say it was even two years ago? 
            I’m sorry you don’t see it. But why are you getting snippy with ME because I did? 

          • Anonymous

            Because you sound ignorant. When you make ignorant comments, people will call you out on it, and I expect the same to be done to me if I said something off. India’s been in an economic upturn and part of our peripheral political and cultural vision for for the past 10+ years. As I mentioned above, it’s been a fashion inspiration for numerous designers over the past several seasons. As have the issues with women in India, and you’re acting as if this is all new very important breaking information and wow Karl such awful timing my gosh.

            So please, try enlightening me again: what is it exactly that you see that the rest of us don’t?

          • Anonymous

            I don’t think you want enlightenment, I think you want to pick a fight and you’ve picked a rather silly one. I didn’t seek to enlighten; I made a comment. A popular television show aired an episode on the topic this week. It’s a horrific subject that does tend to stick in ones’ mind a little longer than Mitt Romney’s bet or the latest pipe dream to fix our stagnant economy. Was there other stuff in the news? Why, yes! yes there was. Did a world-famous designer release a line inspired by nuclear reactors in Japan? no. did someone release one that brought to mind electric chairs? Well, no..but those shoes Chloe Kardashian does remind me of that, now that I think about it. Would you like to tell me I’m being ignorant there, too?
            And yes, yes, I understand that there are terrible things that go on worldwide. I also understand that there are terrible things that happen and *gasp* we don’t even know about them. And I understand that we’re not supposed to equate a country with ONE particular event. Japan. Did you think ‘earthquake’? I thought “nuclear reactor”. Why? Oh. That would be because it was in the news this morning. And I’m terrified of nuclear meltdowns. Product of the 80s, you know. Anyway. Pakistan. What did you think of? Was it our recent squabbles? Or was it that their President has been holed up with illness and is returning today?  Because, you know. They’ve been in the news a lot lately, too.
            So yes, when I saw this collection, my little brain said, “Ooh! Pretty! India. Oh. India. Yes, that thing I just saw on the news…and then read about (because it does seem to trend, doesn’t it? Almost in the same way that … gasp! Colors do! Or…hems!) on the news, and then ended up talking about with my girls over coffee because DAMN! That was an upsetting article. Did I know it was going on before? Of course I did. Was I really paying attention? No. I’m sorry. I really wasn’t. Frankly, I was thinking about Pakistan and Rick Perry and how frightening it would be if he ended up President and if there was anything I could do to help out the girls down at Ladybugs. And before that, I was wondering if I could pull off that polka-dotted and stripey dress. So forgive me, the plight of India’s women flew off my radar. Until I saw that collection, and Poof! I was reminded again of what’s been in the news lately.
            And yes, I do understand that my life must be truly blessed if all I have to do today is worry about dead Indian women and wonder what’s going to befall them ten, fifteen years down the line when the pretty dresses here are long-gone and we’re on to thinking about the horrors in some other country of Karl’s whimsy, meanwhile, the imbalance in the Indian population is likely to cause more violence toward women (as has been the case throughout history when there are a surplus of valued males and a resentment as the costs of women go up and one starts to feel he didn’t get his money’s worth. Especially if he bought a cow…err…woman to bear him a son and all she can produce (funny aside: did you know the sex of a baby is determined by the father? and yet…we tend to get the blame. Why is that? I could venture to guess, but oh. Wait, I’d be making weird and inappropriate associations again, wouldn’t I?).
            And yes, yes. I will have forgotten again, most likely. Well, I probably won’t have. I kinda’ get wrapped up in things. But hey! Apparently, it’s WAY off base and completely OFF topic and since we’re all going to forget in a couple of days anyway …why bother to bring it up, right? How terribly gouache, to mix ‘news’ and ‘fashion’?

          • http://twitter.com/omg_dora Dora K.

            You’re not just gauche, you are offensive, as well as weirdly preachy and patronizing for someone who obviously only discovered the existence of India and/or feminism 5 minutes ago on ABC news.

          • Anonymous

            You realize this is not the first time that missing women or the killing of daughters in India has been talked about? This is a longstanding issue, which has seemingly just entered your scope. THAT is why the timing is irrelevant. It was happening last year, five years ago, ten years ago. It’s probably going to continue next year. There’s nothing specific to the collection that ties it to women’s issues in Southasia (unlike with rodarte) and there’s not a specific world incident that this is referencing (unlike the Gulf war). Two random India-related things caught your eye and to you that meant bad timing.

          • Anonymous

            Couldn’t have said it any better. I just spent 2 years living in Mumbai, India, a huge city of diversity and contrasts, where all manner of amazing, beautiful and atrocious things happen on a daily basis. I am a woman from Seattle, now living in Italy. To my knowledge, none of my Italian friends assume I am an alleged murderer…because, you know…the timing and all of Amanda Knox. 

  • MilaXX

    Very pretty. The white skirt?shorts? do feel a little too Anna & The King of Siam, and the pink dress reads a bit sister wife, but all in all I like this.

  • Lori

    I think the collection was beautiful, but agree that it was a bit too literal. A lot of it felt cotume-y to me. I hope someone uses them for an editorial with less on-the-nose styling.

  • Anonymous

    Man. The styling is totally laughable, to my eyes. I can’t even look at the clothes because I’m distracted by the stupid headpieces and the fact that the first photos I’ve ever seen of South Asian models on a catwalk are for a heavyhandedly India-themed collection. Bitter Kitten is bitter.

    • http://www.wordydoodles.com WordyDoodles

      I’m totally with you about the models. Sigh.

    • Anonymous

      I had the exact same thought about the models. 

  • Anonymous

     A lot of these looks are gorgeous but scrolling down I come across a few that cause me to snort coffee out my nose for being just too literal/silly.  I heard once that pink is the black of India, but I don’t care, I do not like those flashes of bright pink and especially do not like that light pink dress.  

  • Anonymous

    A bit literal? Most of them look like they are extras from A Passage to India. 

    I’d have to see a stripped down version to be able to appreciate if any of this would work in real life.

  • Anonymous

    I feel that someone, somewhere (ok many people in many places) will find the styling offensive. White people wearing and/or emulating things that have strong ethnic or religious significance. HOWEVER, I think the styling is absolutely fabulous and I adore most of the textiles and the combining of separates. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HBS4KWJ6XTPDEL2JMD37ZS5YHA Ben

    those styling will make Nina burn the runway

  • http://www.wordydoodles.com WordyDoodles

    I totally agree with TLo about the literal interpretation. (I’m American-born with Indian parents.) To me, the best dresses here are the ones you could still recognize as Chanel. Believe you me, you can go to Little India (or eBay) and get yourself some fine Indian dresses for a lot cheaper than you’d pay for the Chanel.

    What’s up with the headscarves and dreadlocks? That’s not literal; that’s swinging wildly into Krazy Kultural MashUp! territory.

    Loving the coats here, all of them. And what the hell– those literal headpieces tickle my fanciful bone.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      Yeah, I thought the dreadlocks were an odd touch also – especially considering how very Indian everything else is.

      I love this collection. Sure, it’s very literal, but I think I appreciate that more than a watered down interpretation. It will take a gutsy actress on the red carpet or a strong editorial, but I imagine most of these pieces would look stunning in a different setting.

      • foodycat

        I read the dreadlocks and headscarves as hippy dropout on the Goan beach. Still very literal!

      • P M

        You know, I wonder / hope if some Indian designer will see this and be so outraged that s/he’ll make a truly fabulous Indian everyday casual ready-to-wear pieces that would blow this collection out of the water. 
        Or am I just dreaming? 

        • Anonymous

          Oh, I’d bet money more than one such a collection already exists, we amateurs of fashion who don’t live in an international milieu just don’t know about them.

          • P M

            I wish it were true. But what I’ve seen is ‘Japanese-inspired’ and so on. Come on people, our heritage is so old and so deep. This inner-colonial mindset is…. well, never mind the cliche phrases and terminology. Move on. At least try to catch up to the average woman on the street, who may lack taste, but will not hesitate to be flashy and bold, maybe even fierce!

    • P M

      Re: the headpieces. 
      I know, right?! To me, that’s what frat-boys would wear to show their ‘culturally diverse’ side. Or something like that. Awful awful awful. 
      The caramel over pink with white fishnets seems the best to me. I can see myself taking that apart and using the aesthetic to create other outfits. What do you think? Which did you like?

      • http://www.wordydoodles.com WordyDoodles

        *Loved* the coats. I’d wear almost any of them. The cream and black more classic Chanel suit, the white leather boots with black tips, and those olive/bronze-ish leather leggings were also standouts for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1234087433 Jen Freeman

    Blue dress, 3rd from the bottom on the left. Its the only one I can see someone “real” actually wearing, and its a gorgeous shade of blue.  Therefore, I want it. Sigh.  And I love the hairpieces/adornments. Super pretty.

  • Anonymous

    A huge pile of Blech!! Look at that middle dress in the last row. It isn’t over-the-top couture meant to be interpreted for ready-to-wear. It is already ready to wear and it is horrendous!!! I never like Chanel. I don’t see the attraction. I do like the vintage suits the Nazi sympathizer used to make, though. 

  • http://twitter.com/urban_gypsy Urban Gypsy aka Tess

    Maybe my vision is off but am I the only one who thinks a lot of these clothes make nearly 6 foot tall models look short?

    • http://twitter.com/DewoftheDesert DewoftheDesert

      YES! And they even make them look chunky too… how are “real” women supposed to wear these items I wonder? A jacket here, a pant there … but the combinations on the runway are extremely unflattering.

  • Sara__B

    I’m looking for pieces I’d want to wear if I were a young hip jet-setting heiress, and I’m not finding many. With the exception of the models who may actually be Indian, they mostly look awful in that heavy eye makeup. This collection is definitely not my cup of chai.

  • http://tigergray.blogspot.com/ Tiger Gray

    I really hate it. It took everything I love about Indian fashion and chucked it, vibrant colors foremost among those things. Blah. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/katelynsypher Katie Sypher

    Eew. Why does it look like all those girls have dreads? Please tell me those are NOT having a moment.

  • Anonymous

    Second jacket, red suit, velvet-looking pants please report to my wardrobe immediately.

    I can see Serena (or even Lily) Van der Woodsen in the header ensemble.

    • Anonymous

      I also really loved the red suit.  Seems beautiful, modern Chanel and very wearable even for me (although for me, not affordable). 

  • http://twitter.com/VicksieDo Vickie Lord

    Allow me to gush…I watched the collection online, and the detailing and elegance of these clothes is simply amazing.  For one small second, I wished to be an oil heiress jet setting around the middle east…sigh.

  • spooki C

    Don’t care about the clothes, loved the hair and makeup.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dana.sacks1 Dana Giese Sacks

    Or you can go to India and buy something just like this for a fraction–a mere fraction—of the price. I think Coco Chanel, who believe in classic, classic designs is rolling over in her grave.

    • Anonymous

      Definitely. Airfare and all, you would still come out on top. Not to mention, fantastic designers abound in India who would give Chanel a run for its money! 

  • Anonymous

    The subtitle of this post should be “Who’s sari now?”

    • Anonymous

      Thank you.  Today, I truly needed that laugh.  Now I’m singing that song all the way to bed…

  • Anonymous

    I’m not loving the clothes but someone PLEASE tell me who that male model in the last row is. I’d like to wear him all year.

    • Kaye Evans

      It’s Karl’s boyfriend Baptiste Giabiconi

  • Anonymous

    I pretty much love every singe bit of this collection.  I’m am American married to an Indian man and always enjoy Indian inspired clothing. The pink one is a little too much but I don’t see any of them as too literal for high fashion. LOVE seeing Indian models on the runway!

  • Lauren Maier

    AH.  My Colonialism-Senses are screaming!  
    It is so much pretty, but it’s so literal that I automatically feel vaguely guilty for the way the West (or Nuncle Karl in this case) rather abuses the East (Fashion in India) for it’s own purposes.  
    Guilt vs. pretty?  Guilt wins.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/eric.e.zhang Eric Zhang

      Yeah, this collection smacks of neocolonialism, aesthetics aside. It’s not even about cultural appropriation as it is about the whole presentation, the idea of a collection by the Western elite for the Indian elite, and abusing/erasing the Indian work force in order to do so. (For example, the ~Indian chic~ jewelry was made in a Paris atelier, because Karl wanted to upend the reliance on Indian workers in producing Indian jewelry. W h a t.)

    • Anonymous

      Oh, don’t let the guilt win! The world is full of people suffering in e.x.a.c.t. counterpoint to whatever positive moment you may be having (clean bed, health, loving friend or family member, nourishing food, benign weather, etc. etc. etc.)  Allowing your acknowledgement of what’s wrong in the world to win out over enjoyment is no way to live.  Do the good you can do. Try to lay down the guilt.

  • ferdinanda

    The first hint that we’d hit the multi-culti cray-cray is the title “Paris-Bombay” rather than Mumbai.  Perhaps it’s just a translation typo, but the whole looks screams “don’t shatter our Romanticist fantasy! Let’s all pretend we’re going to meet the raja in the casbah with a hookah!” The Exotic Colonial Randomator has only a few settings; let’s see…Africa (Northern variety/harem girls or Southern Variety/loud prints a la Yinka Shonibare, without the irony);  Asian (Geisha or raja); Gilligan’s Island (colorful mumus/”island native”) (hello, Anya!).

    • http://www.facebook.com/eric.e.zhang Eric Zhang

      Not to mention (1) Karl has never been to India before and (2) the hallway is supposed to resemble a palace in Rajasthan, not Mumbai.

    • Anonymous

      Were fashion references & runway staging to get culturally accurate (for ANY country or culture) I sure wouldn’t expect a Lagerfeld collection to be the first place it happens.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Elizabeth-Poytinger-Baumer/1516981341 Mary Elizabeth Poytinger Baume

    wow.  Uncle Karl. wow.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Elizabeth-Poytinger-Baumer/1516981341 Mary Elizabeth Poytinger Baume

    wow.  Uncle Karl. wow.

  • Anonymous

    What’s the price point on the head-wrapped fellows?  I can see those selling at ANY price. :)

    A lot of these pieces are really pretty, but they seem really heavy and literal as presented.

    Sign me up for Mr. Grey-and-Damask, though.

  • Now I am The Bee

    Oh my.  I love some of it–but the sari-like skirts and dresses are too costumey, I think.  Love the blue dress! 

  • Anonymous

    A lot of this is absolutely gorgeous while some of it is WAY too literal and heavy handed. The styling is a bit much, but I admit I love a lot of this. Very beautiful.

  • Anonymous

    Should be titled “Out of India”. I don’t like the drapey hippy things – what are those called? I do love the red suit and the blue dress, along with elements of the other looks. But it’s a little Beatles in their Maharishi stage.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, and can I just add? I am SO over those cap-toed boots.

  • Anonymous

    I just wanna put that last one on and roll around on my bed for an hour. You can feel the fabric without actually having to touch it, and you KNOW it’d be oh-so-sensual to just…wallow in the glory of it.

  • Anonymous

    As a gay man, I’ve had very ambivalent emotions about the idea of having a wedding.  I just can’t quite picture what I would want my wedding to look like.  No bride in her dress?  What’s the point?

    But now, seeing these coats, I’ve found MY fantasy wedding “dress.”  Holy crap, I’d kill to be able to afford one of those outfits (and, heck, the guys wearing them, too!).  At the very least, I pray that some leading man will have the cojones to don one of these outfits on the Red Carpet.  Now that would shake up the male fashion world!

    • Sobaika Mirza

      I would LOVE to see any of these on the red carpet! Especially the men. 

      And if the big day comes and you want that look without the Chanel price tag, look into some Nehru jackets at the nearest Little India.

    • Anonymous

      I have wondered muchly over the impact of fashion conscious gay men on the wedding industry, once gay marriage is finally integrated into our culture’s existing wedding practices. Yes, most guys will probably just dress really nicely with a few special touches. But surely a significant number will be happy to participate in the “this is my/our special day and I am going to wear my fantasy attire at the biggest party of my life” paradigm.  And I wonder if beautiful and adventurous mens’ attire will finally find a real platform that can sustain businesses.

  • Anonymous

    It was an interesting idea, but I think the juxtaposition of Chanel with India is weaker than it should have been. The usually-chic boxy Chanel shapes look potentially interesting in the rich fabrics, but to anyone who’s been in a mall in India in the past year (and as other commenters have said), a lot of the clothing looks boringly off-the-rack. Neither the styling nor the shapes are original enough to be interesting. It’s certainly not insulting to India (at least, I don’t think so), because it’s pretty enough, but it makes Karl look a little less educated about standard international fashion than he should be.

  • Anonymous

    The floral embroidered bell bottom two piece or jumpsuit (center, three rows from the bottom) really caught my eye. It’s fantastic! 

  • Anonymous

    First thought: I’m glad Uncle Karl gave it a rest with the hideous shoe thing.

  • Linde Hoff

    Overall, not loving it.

  • Anonymous

    Too costumey, or could be the overstyling. I had to squint to imagine the garments sans headpieces, scarves and ornate jewels. I’m gonna say no.

  • Anonymous

    This all looks like it would be severely unflattering, even on the thinnest of the thin. Maybe it’s the thought that counts? I don’t know. I’m not a fan of Lagerfeld.

  • http://www.gprotocol.com Advaita Waikar

    I have mixed feelings about this collection. There are very few pieces which maintain their Chanel-esque feel and embody “Bombay”.
    The rest seem burdened with too much design that no one would wear. But as someone who follows Indian fashion, none of this looks new. It’s been done season over season. The eye make up is too heavy.

  • Anonymous

    The word I’m looking for is overdesigned.  Just too much…everything.

  • Anonymous

    the first two pieces in row one, and the red suit with the matching cuffs and colour i really like. the rest are okay.

    for those puzzled by the dreadlocks, those are part of a certain aspect of indian culture. some would actually say dreadlocks worn by early indians in jamaica influenced the development of that hairdo as part of rastafarian religion.

  • Lattis

    Has anybody here seen the 1944 version of “Kismet” with Marlene Dietrich? Just watch the movie clip, “Lady of the Moonlight.” 

     A la découverte du grand cinema | TCM Cinéma

    Tell me MD couldn’t slink down the runway in this collection and be right at home. Well, she’d totally upstage everyone else. Still, this collection is from the same imaginative pool that Dietrich’s painted gold legs are from.

    • Anonymous

      Haven’t seen it, but I clicked on the link and saw the clip…she looks sort of ridiculous. Cheap and blingy and VERY costumey and sort of a cultural appropriation mish mash of all things deemed ‘oriental’

      And I cant imagine painted gold legs anywhere on that runway.

      • Anonymous

         And I cant imagine painted gold legs anywhere on that runway.

        I love the cheesiness of Kismet, that’s a big part of its charm.  Dietrich’s golden legs were perhaps a nod to the churidar, as are the legging things (some even golden!)  that some of the models are wearing in this collection. Lagerfeld himself said the show was “a fantastical idea of India” and the styling, to me, certainly smacked a bit of “mish mash” of all things Indian. I can easily see Dietrich rocking some of this.

        What I love about Lagerfeld at Chanel, is the dedication to preserving couture techniques and craftsmanship (like the beading and embroidery in this collection) that Lagerfeld showcases in his annual Métiers d’Art collections. For a while now, Chanel has been buying up small French suppliers to protect the work of skilled artisans; they’ve acquired the ateliers of a milliner, a shoemaker, a button and costume jewelery maker, a goldsmith and silversmith, even a feather and decorative flower maker. I read that they just bought another one for crochet and needlework.  I’ve seen a French documentary showing some of the ateliers at Chanel and the craftsmanship is remarkable. Even when I don’t like the clothes, I appreciate what Lagerfeld is doing. And I suspect I will like a lot more of the pieces in this collection when they are taken out of the India fantasy-land context.

        • Lattis

          For a while now, Chanel has been buying up small French suppliers to protect the work of skilled artisans; they’ve acquired the ateliers of a milliner, a shoemaker, a button and costume jewelery maker, a goldsmith and silversmith, even a feather and decorative flower maker. I read that they just bought another one for crochet and needlework.

          That is really something. Kudos to Chanel for actively keeping those skills alive. 

          SassieCassy, you say cheap, blingy, and costumey like that’s a bad thing.   

  • Anonymous

    the styling is SO stupid.

  • Anonymous

    some of the pieces here are better than a lot of what he’s been putting out lately, stuff, which at least to me, has been filled w/ awkward design flourishes meant to prove his continuing relevance in a world in which he is old enough to be almost everyone else’s parent, at the very least. not that that wouldve necessarily been fun for the kids, but you get the idea. i guess it wouldve been at least interesting. anyway. this stuff sidesteps the pointed toe dips into the somewhat stagnant & now somewhat foreign to KKL avant-whatever & goes straight back to the glorious & gaudy influences of his youth. it’s a good idea, somehow. sometimes. i like the pinks, some of the greys, some of the creams, the spiderweb, the stuff that looks more en hommage rather than one from hindu-orientalist column a, one from hindu-orientalist column b etc & ect.

    otoh, even in my sorrowfully misspent pre-dodderhood i still feel compelled to note that, when you do this culture for the superrich, whether you like it or not you are, well, somewhere between confronting & mildly mocking an economy very much unlike the one for whom you are doing. if you will. & you dont have to think that far down the line to do it, but if you are so inclined, one or two thoughts about the dalit ["untouchables"] might blow yr golden concept somewhere out of the water. just a little. they are really the 1%.

  • Anonymous

    These are deceptively exquisite clothes, which just all the more makes me want to beat the crap out of the person who styled that awful head/hair nonsense.  Uncle Karl, I’m assuming you delegated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Claudia-Gilbert/875055316 Claudia Gilbert

    I like the row of grey; they seem to have struck the balance of being inspired by and not being too literal, but still cool.  Everything else feels REALLY overdone.  And I’m not sure bigger models were used here; I think these clothes belie hangar bodies by being over chunky.  

  • http://twitter.com/reina_sabah Sabah Ibrahim

    I’m an Indian woman, and a history buff who has studied the Maharajas and the Mughal empire quite extensively…and these pieces to me are ugly as sin.

  • Anonymous

    Another trend I see is tailoring away from the body.  There’s is more room between most of these models and their clothing.  What are Blake Lively and Robert Downey Jr. going to do when their “aggressive tailoring” is passe?

  • foodycat

    I really like the red Star Trek-y suit! And I like that there are some models of colour, even if there is a bit of Orientalism to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=583505025 Kelley Comfort

    LOVE! Some of the pieces look too much like costumes in some period Bollywood movie to be worn in public, but that’s my only complaint.  I love me some vintage Bollywood, so I think it’s a gorgeous collection.

  • Anonymous

    This is an interesting collection.  Many of the looks are classic-classic Chanel with Indian leggings.  Sometimes that works, but sometimes it looks more like an outfit put together by a little girl who’s been raiding her mother’s closet and just throwing pieces together. The last photo in Row 5, for example.  Just silly. But truly, I would cut a bitch to get my hands on the outfit in the middle photo of the first row.

    Do not like the headdresses.  They look chip. And mostly not integrated into the hairstyle–just slapped on.

  • http://joyouslifesf.wordpress.com Kiltdntiltd

    A lot of gorgeous looks here, and because the shapes are fairly unstructured it would make the translation to middle and lower end goods a lot easier to pull off.   Are we going to see the return of the turban?

  • Anonymous

    Adore

  • http://www.facebook.com/charlotte.horseman Charlotte Horseman

    Beautiful…  but it would have to be for an era of dressing this way (with others around you dressed like this too), otherwise, it would be like you just jumped out of another time and place.  I guess that’s “costume”, right?

  • http://twitter.com/herong Heron

    Is colonialism making a comeback? 

    • http://www.facebook.com/eric.e.zhang Eric Zhang

      How can it make a comeback if it never truly went away?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CQPXLNCBM5CZSHZZXJDHPVFS7E Buffy

    Most of it is too overdone for my taste, but I do like the black & gold tunic, the red suit and the blue dress.

  • http://twitter.com/DarthJaeda Jaeda Laurez

    I’m not really enjoying this. The fabrics and design look like what old people THINK young people want to dress like with an “Indian” flair. 

  • Anonymous

    Looking for the return of Nehru jackets next.

  • Anonymous

    Much Good, here. Best thing is that these remind me that having enough money to romp in the fields of each year’s Big Name Collections should be about ENJOYING one’s clothes.  Funny how I keep sliding into thinking it’s somehow about earning the approval of the Internet Commentariat . . .

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.e.zhang Eric Zhang

    I think there’s something skeevy about Karl taking this idea of relying on Indian sweatshops to produce beautifully intricate ~exotic~ jewelry for cheap, and “subverting” it by producing it instead in his Paris atelier and presumably for much more money. Given the history of colonialism, it’s basically like saying, hey we took your crafts from you and we’re going to make a profit off of it, and you don’t even get any of the proceeds because we’re tired of outsourcing.

    Not to mention the fact that he’s never been to India and he titled this collection “Paris-Bombay” when the runway is supposed to represent Rajasthan, not Mumbai.

  • http://twitter.com/angelkutty Rincey

    As someone who is Indian and wears Indian outfits on a regular basis, a significant portion of these pieces look like they are actual Indian outfits and not Indian inspired pieces. They are beautiful, but I can’t imagine how they would be worn without someone looking like they are playing dress up

  • Anonymous

    Is the intent of this collection to introduce these very Indian and Asian inspired designs to western markets…or to expand Chanel’s line into and cater to the rapidly expanding affluent in the eastern and mid-eastern markets?

    There are some lovely pieces that I think are universal, but also many that are quite literal.  I agree that the styling may be too literal too, for the westerners …overshadows the designs in some cases.

  • Anonymous

    I love beautiful textiles–seriously, I buy fabric just because I like to look at it–so that’s what I like most about this collection. It also seems pretty wearable when paired the right way.

    As a whole, the designs don’t wow me, but many of the dresses are really gorgeous.

    • Anonymous

      Sister! My collection of high-end fabric remnants salutes you!

    • Anonymous

      I am just the same; I have an entire cabinet full of fabric; sometimes it’s enough to just look at them. Sometimes, they even get put to use!

    • foodycat

      I’m with you on the fabrics – the spare room is stuffed with them!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-TallGirl-Freeman/1043623567 Jessica TallGirl Freeman

    Something tells me Coco would think this is utterly ridiculous.  And if Uncle Karl follwed the “take one thing off” rule, god knows what they really had on prior to the runway.  

  • Anonymous

    some of these are incredibly gorgeous, but some are ridiculously costumey

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Karen-Stephens-Bassett/1503492602 Karen Stephens Bassett

    Middle model on top row…bird poop on her head.

  • Anonymous

    Some of these are gorgeous, some just way too literal and costume-y.  That said, I want that shocking pink tweed jacket – NOW!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Stone/100001328135240 Mary Stone

     the turban-thingies on the guys are ridonkulus to the point of being offensive, as is they overdone-kohl eye-makeup on the female models, and must every female model have a bindi (same question for the guys, must every guy have an ill-wrapped turban secured by a jewel-encrusted brooch).  I do like the sillhouettes and the colors, though.

  • P M

    Oy. I’m Indian and I hate this: I thought we were chicer than that. Or at least, that our fashion disasters are more interesting. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/mmara00 M M

    It appears they are trying to apply the indian style eye makeup to all the girls to create a unified look — a look which actually works for an indian (looking) girl, but somehow comes off as just a teenage goth-punk(with a little extra from their daddy’s credit card) on the white girls. 

  • Anonymous

    The literal nature makes this feel more like costumes than clothes, and like many, I’m kind of skeeved out by the presentation. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=lf UltimaEsperenza

    Uuuuhhhhgggghhh.  All those SANDALS.

  • Anonymous

    Photo #30 – is that a NEHRU Jacket???   Groovy!

  • ian see

    a vibe of khaleesi from game of thrones, no?

    http://abeautifulcult.tumblr.com/post/14221059951