Several hundred journalists from all over the world gathered in Seoul for the presentation of Chanel 2016 cruise collection. Karl Lagerfeld expressed: “Korea is … mysterious, less known in a way so I saw it was the right moment to do it.” The modern Chanel was represented by Gisele Bündchen, Kristen Stewart, Tilda Swinton, and Isabelle Huppert, all seating in the front row. From a business perspective -and judging by the fashionable audience- the Korean clientele might be the best advertisement Chanel could possibly hope for.
The French fashion house found its inspiration from traditional South Korean dress for its 2015/2016 cruise collection, unveiling a colorful inter-seasonal line. Indeed, the most recurring visual motif was a colored patchwork, a technique, which, Lagerfeld said, is only found in Korea. Multicolored striped dresses bore high waistlines, making for a voluminous silhouette of wide trousers and just over-the-knee skirts, in a palette of pink, orange, violet, mint green and royal blue.
There was a celebration of the classic sober little jackets, but this time, half-belted high in the back. A stunning tweed ensemble was the proper illustration of the Korean lady for Chanel, the “camellia,“ and « Cambon” history were intertwining into an elusive pattern.
The models were dressed like manga characters, with their hair covered with big “hats” of braided black wigs, a clear reference to the country’s Chosun dynasty which ran from 1392 to 1910. ‘Everyone has taken inspiration from China, Japan and Africa – me included – but a collection inspired by the past of Korea, I have not seen,’ stated Lagerfeld. ‘But they have to be adapted for the world of today.’ Indeed, Nothing to Mr Lagerfeld is more unattractive than the look of the past with no update. Lagerfeld’s strategy consisted as always in intertwining the past and the future in a very powerful, well-thought collection.