Many prominent designers were inspired by the sea this season, but no one pulled out all the stops to the extent that Karl Lagerfeld did for his Spring 2012 collection for Chanel. Given that pearls are very closely associated with the Chanel brand, a sea life inspiration made for the perfect springboard to have pearls dripping from models’ hair, glistening from their waists, arms, necks, and more as they walked through an elaborate white underwater wonderland set inside the Grand Palais. Florence Welch, of Florence and the Machine, performed in a giant seashell, arguably topping the memorable Lily Allen performance that took place during the Spring 2010 show and accompanied the designer as he took his finale bow.
The sea world inspiration came through not only via the pearls and set however, but through seashell-shaped clutches, reef-accented bags, scale-like skirts, shades of white, aqua, coral, seashell pink, and sea green, and fluttering, light-as-air fabrics, all of which made for a clean, fresh, collection that – gasp! – contrary to the running Spring 2012 trend, featured mostly flats, along with some coral-shaped heels for good measure.