News & Runway

Chanel S/S 2011: Paris Fashion Week

Anyone who thought Karl Lagerfeld would allow himself to be overshadowed at this year’s Paris Fashion Week was sorely mistaken.
With two other major shows competing for attention on the same day, Lagerfeld went big – really big – inviting his 2,800 guests to the magnificent Grand Palais, where an 80-piece orchestra, a 1,148-foot runway, and marble fountains set a decadent backdrop for his Spring 2011 collection.
Another stunner? Lagerfeld’s former muse, Inès de la Fressange, walking the runway after an absence of over 20 years.

The designer also wins the award for most charming moment in Fashion Month: a matching son and father bouclé modeled by Brad Koenig and his two year old son.


The flash and frills of the Grand Palais contrasted Lagerfeld’s wonderfully light collection, which was inspired by the 1961 film Last Year at Marienbad.

Among the over 80 looks presented at the show, the collection featured Chanel’s classic tweeds with modern embellishments – embroidered holes, unfinished ends, and distressed fabrics.  


Continuing Chanel’s take on this season’s punk trend, the show included ostrich feathers, shoes with unexpected slits, and quirky accessories like a hat-shaped umbrella. Keeping with traditional spring attire, the collection also featured plenty of vibrant floral prints.  

In keeping with tradition, the show featured chunky and often gilded jewelry, for which the house is known. Classic quilted Chanel bags also made an appearance in an array of colors and patterns, as well as new clutch styles, including one made to look like a leather bound book.

The color palette was a mix of white, black, metallics, and pastels.  The show also featured an abundance of feathers, which, according to Lagerfeld, were in response to the fake fur he presented in his Polar-inspired collection last season.

The feathers were most noteworthy on a number of tiered cocktail dresses, which we wouldn’t be surprised to see Rachel Bilson, Alexa Chung, or Keira Knightley – all sitting in the front row – wearing next season.