Let them wear… pastel-coloured wigs! Marie Antoinette meets Fifth Element as Chanel takes Versailles
22:32 GMT, 14 May 2012
Marie Antoinette and the Fifth Element are as dramatically opposed as any fashion styles can be, but Karl Lagerfeld brought the two together for the Chanel cruise 2013 collection.
Guests including Tilda Swinton, Alice Dellal and Vanessa Paradis gathered at the palace of Versailles to see an collection that paid tribute to the stunning setting.
True to form, though, the designer who thrives on the new did not just reference the past, presenting a show that Paris Vogue described on Twitter as ‘taking Marie-Antoinette to a garden rave party'.
Holding court: Karl Lagerfeld paid tribute to the heyday of Versailles in the latest Chanel cruise collection which was presented in the grounds of the palace this afternoon
Then and now: While the full skirts and ruffled sleeves of the garments were a nod to the 18th century, the models' severe bobs and monochrome creepers brought the looks back into the present
Though there were baroque-tinged 18th
century-inspired ruffles, there was also bondage-inspired swimwear,
sharp shoulders and tough mini-skirted ball gowns.
But the most distinctive element was the models’ hair in a palette of baby blue, blush pink and mint green.
The pastel-hued Vidal Sassoon meets
George Washington blunt bobs were reminiscent of Milla Jovovich’s
character in the 1997 futuristic film the Fifth Element.
Sci-fi chic: The models' wigs were similar to the hairstyle worn by Milla Jovovich in 1997 film The Fifth Element
Drama queens: Princess-like minidresses and ankle-skimming ballgowns came with ornate embellishment
Double denim: The fashion faux pas got a Lagerfeld makeover with sharp tailoring and elaborate gold trim
Worn as wigs over long ponytails, the sharp bobs were decorated with big bows and giant sunhats.
Make-up artist Peter Philips also
painted tiny interlocking C tattoos on the models’ cheekbones, possibly
made to look like Marie Antoinette’s signature beauty mark.
Overall, the collection read like Karl
Lagerfeld's own answer to the age of austerity, which came in his
wonderful visual oxymorons.
The designer sent his bejewelled and
embellished models down the runway wearing white rubber soled creepers
and fingerless leather gloves.
Making a splash: A model in one of the swimwear looks takes a tour around the fountain at Versailles
High collar Louis XV-style embellished
vests were teamed with pastel pedal pushers; space-age silhouettes were
decorated with intricate floral embroidery and delicate white lace; and
alongside the overflowing ruffled ensembles walked cool-kid double
denim and black leather outfits.
While there was nothing too 'Chanel'
in the collection because, as he noted during his spring 2012 show,
‘there are already too many other people doing that style’, there were
pieces recognisably within the house’s signature code.
A few boxy tweeds and drop waists were
peppered throughout an opulent collection filled with the core
prettiness that Chanel’s biggest fans still look for.
The style set: Alice Dellal (left), who is the face of the Chanel Boy bag, Vanessa Paradis (centre) and actress Tilda Swinton (right) were all guests at the lavish event
Take a bow: Designer Karl Lagerfeld was joined by his models as he stepped out at the end of the show