Chanel’s Latest Collection Tells a Story of Past and Present

For Chanel Pre Fall 2018, fashionistas were whisked away to Hamburg, Germany, the birthplace of Karl Lagerfeld and the setting of Hamburg’s new acoustic concert hall, the grand venue of Chanel’s Métiers d’Art show.

For the first time, Karl Lagerfeld staged a Chanel show in his hometown Hamburg, Germany. But rather than broadcast his own history, Lagerfeld drew upon the culture of Hamburg in the 60s’ as a spinning point for a lively collection. As a town on the River Elbe, Hamburg was once a bustling port, and it’s those seafaring scenes that have inspired Lagerfeld’s latest for Chanel. The designer explained, “The port of Hamburg is quite poetic, even if it’s changed a lot, because it wasn’t like this before. But I love it, and when I was a child, I went to school with the sons of ship owners, and we would come here and play on the boats, so all this to me is very familiar”. Looking back on the extravagant show, there are endless points of discussion. Below are five of the most memorable elements.

The setting was a modern—and star-studded—masterpiece.
Lagerfeld has a passion for architecture. This pre-fall collection took place in Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, it’s one of the city’s newest and most daring buildings. Guests who attended the show, such as the likes of Lily-Rose Depp, Tilda Swinton, and Kristen Stewart, were seated in the theatre around an orchestra that played while models worked the many tiers of the space.

Newsboy caps were, in fact, sailor caps.
Short, brimmed nautical hats have stolen the show. At first, the short toppers worn by most of the models look like American newsboy caps, but a German magazine was quick to point out they are actually elbeseglers. In other words sailor caps. With added metal detail and a brooch placed at the front, Chanel’s take is decidedly posher than typical sailor fare. Some of the elbeseglers worn with evening looks were adorned with sailor stripes, jewels and veils.

The mod silhouette made a return.
There is a saying that the best trends tend to come back 10 years later. This was very much the case for Chanel’s pre-fall 2018 collection as Lagerfeld touched upon the mod silhouette from Chanel’s 2008 Métiers d’Art. The collection featured Chanel’s signature tweet fabrics and matching skirt suits with the addition of knit leg warmers which gave models the 1960’s mod look. Furthermore, Lagerfeld drew directly on Hamburg’s history in which models wore knitwear in deep hues of navy blue and rust.

Knitwear was a big theme.
On the topic of knitwear, the focus of Chanel’s Métiers d’Art shows was to highlight the craftsmanship of the artisans the house works with. Pre-fall 2018 was heavy on cashmere knitwear from Barrie, made in the small town of Hawick, Scotland to mini and maxi dresses in Maison’s intricate patterns. Not only this but a new collection of knit bracelets that doubled as arm-warmers were featured on this catwalk.

Rumors of Lagerfeld’s final season.
Despite the many whispers that have anticipated Lagerfeld’s exit from the iconic French house for years, fashion insiders interpreted the location of the show in Lagerfeld’s hometown as a symbolic move that it would be his last for Chanel. However, nothing has been confirmed yet. The show’s finale was noteworthy because it involved a standing ovation, with nine-year-old mini muse Hudson Kroenig accompanying Lagerfeld for his final bow.

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Images:, Vogue, Huffington Post,

Text: Ella Buxton

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