Ah the pre- collections. They're such a lovely antidote to the lethargy that the in- between months, such as we are in now, cause, when we can only look forward hopefully to wearing that carefully curated summer wardrobe whilst whiling away the hours pouring over the couture from Cannes and the Met Gala.
The most decadent pre- collections are undoubtedly, and unsurprisingly, by Chanel. Unconstrained by the necessity of showing at the Grand Palais, as at the fashion weeks in February and September, Karl Lagerfeld lets his imagination run wild, using glamorous locations and exotic stimuli to present collections which exude luxury, and showcase the very best workmanship from the the Lesage atelier in Paris. Last year, Lagerfeld's Spring/ Summer '12 pre-collection was presented in Cannes; this year, he went a step more sybaritic, and headed for Versailles.
Under the blazing sun and cerulean sky of Versailles, and in one of the palace's hidden- away gardens, Marie Antoinette was revived, unlike Tupac's hologram, in pastel wigs, washed denim, bouclé wool and hipster brothel creepers. Yes, baroque met a 90s Nirvana concert in a collection so unlikely it was, naturally, brilliant.
The sumptuous gardens combined with golden embellishment, floating organza and 18th century- style tailoring to evoke the feel that somehow, somewhere, Marie Antoinette was watching over the proceedings with an approving eye, her little sheep trailing after her on a length of blue ribbon. However, these nods to baroque were immediately contrasted with the aforementioned brothel creepers, bleached denim and low slung cargo-esque trousers, which lent the collection a grungy air last seen on Courtney Love sometime in the 90s. You thought that the decade was having coverage enough with both the street style trends for brothel creepers, giant knits and tie- die, designers such as Altuzarra showing day wear that would put Sporty Spice to shame, and brands such as Calvin Klein rebooting the translucent slip dress, à la Kate Moss. However, now that Lagerfeld has illustrated Chanel's sartorial acceptance of the 90s revival, albeit translated through the 'frivolity of the 18th century updated in new materials and new proportions...', it is certain that this micro- trend will soon be becoming a maxi -trend.
Happy grunging readers, you have Karl's blessing.
Show images from: www.vogue.co.uk
Other images from: www.fashionising.com