On Women's International Day, who better to pay homage to than Coco Chanel, a female entrepreneur who not only defined the fashion world but also made a profound impact on culture? Karl Lagerfeld did very right by Mme Chanel, presenting what can only be described as his strongest collection for the famed fashion house in years.
For extra brownie points, he kept show-goers happy with his democratic seating arrangements, whereby everyone sat on the front row. Nevertheless, there was a feeling of intimacy in the salon-style arrangement of seats, which also seems to be a trend this season – Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy and Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent had similar ideas.
But there wasn't too long to muse over the seating situation before models criss-crossed the Grand Palais catwalk in midi-length skirts in either black and white tweed or gleaming metallics, cropped jackets festooned at the collar with bows, and raspberry skirt suits boasting denim inserts, all worn with either flat boots that were laced horizontally across the ankle or kitten-heeled loafers.
Novelty prints are nothing new in fashion, but we challenge anyone not to be charmed by the cat motifs printed on silk wide-leg trousers and glossy sweatshirts, modelled on Lagerfeld's now-famous feline, Choupette. Florals also appeared here as sketchy doodles.
Outerwear was as covetable as ever, with hooded, quilted parkas (modelled in pink by Kendall Jenner) and khaki macs falling to the ankle in trapeze shapes. For evening, meanwhile, there was myriad choice: sparkly lurex knit dresses, exquisite strapless numbers embroidered with pearls and sequins (look closely and you'll spot the interlocking 'C's on their tulle skirts) and black LBDs with bows adorning the hips. Finished off with layers of oversized pearls, they were timeless and elegant – just as Coco would have liked.
"Undoubtedly the best Chanel show in years; here the focus was not on the supermarket, airline or iceberg, but on the stunning collection. Classic slimmed-down skirt suits felt fresh and modern with shades of pink contrasting the house’s signature black and white, yet the season’s streetwear trend pervaded even here and thus we saw quilted jackets, trenches, and our favourite look of the season – the maxi coat – in street-worthy tweeds," said Helen David, Harrods Chief Merchant, of the show.