Chanel Couture, Summer 2014

In case you missed it, the Paris Haute Couture shows were last week.  Compared to the ready-to-wear fashion weeks that are soon to come, these shows cause hardly a ripple.  But these clothes are surely the clothes of dreams, and I can dream with the best of them.

I don’t watch them all, but Chanel is always interesting from an historian’s point of view.  Karl Lagerfeld has the task of making each collection look like a Chanel collection, and I love seeing how he does it.

The big idea was the cropped jackets that expose a corset made from the same fabric.  I can’t imagine how Mademoiselle Chanel would feel about corsets, but Karl obviously liked them, because the majority of the looks featured one.

The idea worked better with some looks than with others.  When I was watching the runway show I thought that the models were wearing form-fitting camisoles, and I wanted to throw some of the women a doughnut.  They just looked so skinny.  This ensemble is a good example.  Personally, I think this would look so much better without a tiny little waist.  That means these clothes might actually flatter a more mature figure.  The tops might be a little too short for most tastes, but hey, this is couture.  If you are paying the equivalent of the price of a car for a dress, I think they might accommodate your desire for a longer top.

All the commentary I’ve read about this show has focused on one accessory – the shoes.   Just when we thought the running shoe with a dress look was firmly in the past, we have Lagerfeld reminding us that there are shoes that can be walked in.  The models skipped and hopped down a grand staircase, adding to the effect of lightness in the clothes.

It made for a fun show, but would anyone actually wear the shoes with a couture outfit?  I don’t know, but I have read several laments by the fashion crowd because the only way to get a pair is to order one of the couture dresses or suits.   That, plus the 3000 euro price tag might be a bit discouraging.  3000 euros is $4100 by the way, and is expensive even for Chanel.  The boots I loved so much from the pre-fall collection were “only” $1600.

I won’t be surprised to see a cheaper collection show up for summer.

I didn’t much care for the pants looks, but I wanted to show this one because of the white collar and cuff, and the black tie.  So Chanel.  And have I seen a similar look from years past?  It just looks so familiar.

The lack of   accoutrements was a bit unusual, but I loved the clean look of just the dress, the girl, and her sneakers.

But when he did add accessories, he really added them.  Is she accident prone, or just a skateboarder wannabe?  And yes, that is a fanny pack.

These full length shots do not tell the entire story.  To see just how special these looks are, you have to see the garments close-up.  Here you can see the details of the very first look.  To see more, there is a slideshow at  Be sure to zoom.

All photos copyright of


Filed under Designers, Shoes

18 responses to “Chanel Couture, Summer 2014

  1. I have been watching the Chanel Haute Coutre collection with a little mixed feelings – but I like it in general. I love the fabrics, colours and details. It is Lsgerfeld Chanel.


  2. I love all the Chanel Haute Couture from …….. to toe. I almost said “tip to toe” but I could not accept the hair styles, so I left the tip out. They are awful.
    Love the clever new twist to the long white gloves with the buttons…they are beautiful.
    I think the short bodices and dropped waists are very young, cute, fresh and new looking.
    However, I don’t understand what the padded knees and elbows have to do with fashion trends. The tennis shoes are welcome …. the gals can finally walk normally and not worry about falling off of those 6 inch hi heel shoes.



    Thanks for sharing! I was away or I would have watched more! Give me JP Gaultier or Balmain any day! The couture collections are wild and I love every aspect including the crazy hair and make-up! I am not really liking Stella or Dior and so many new names I do not know!


  4. Wow, you never know what Karl will come up with next. My impression is that the haute couture shows are more of a branding marketing event that help to sell the RTW, accessories and cosmetics. I’m sure the rich ladies who buy the couture can order the bodice a little longer–or pay for the tummy tuck!
    Tomorrow I’m going to get my glue gun out and paste some Chanel remnants on my running shoes…won’t everyone be jealous of my $4,000 shoes?


  5. I am now in the market for couture sneakers. Maybe I could make my own? I’ve never had much luck with a glue gun, though.


  6. I’m a big fan of tennis shoes with a dress (chucks and a shirt dress!), but I’m not too sure about those crop top corset dresses. I agree with you that they might work a little better on a fuller waist.


  7. I always feel bad for runway models having to navigate stairs, long trains, etc. in super high heels. I hope this is a trend towards shoes one can actually walk in.
    I also love the glove-like accessories.
    That black-and-white corseted ensemble reminded me of one of Oskar Schlemmer’s costume for the Triadic Ballet. Or one of those dolls made up of wooden pegs that move when you push in the bottom.


  8. Morning Waters

    Channel would have hated corsets. That is what her fashion was all about in the beginning…Getting the women out of the corsets and stiff hats that were popular at the beginning of the century. Even when she started up her fashion line in the 50’s she was anti the severe corseted Dior look. she will be rolling over in her grave today.


  9. I usually have mixed feelings about Chanel collections but there is always something I would be glad to spend a fortune on – if I had one that is… 🙂 I loved the close up in the last pic and the glove(like) feature is a winner! I find the corset look very flattering, surely with today’s technology they’ll be a bit more elastic/comfy to wear? Whether the lady herself would have liked them or not is irrelevant I find; she may have established this house but it took Lagerfeld’s genius to bring it where it is today – so he might please be excused?


  10. My heart bleeds for those models. I just want to invite them over for a sandwich. I’m not as knowledgeable as you, Lizzie and others, on fashion history, but I did notice that Christian Dior had a similar corseted look, which I spotted in Claire Schaeffer’s Couture Sewing book. The top was a little longer, and it seemed more feminine.


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