Hannah Akerly – 1851 Staff
Every year, fashion designers around the world showcase their newest designs in what will become trends and influential brand pieces. Young designers watch and take in the awe of their inspiration and how many pieces turned from a simple drawing in a sketchbook to a piece of art on a model strutting down the runway.
Autumn-Winter 2019 Milan and Paris Fashion Week displayed iconic designs from Chanel, Gucci and Versace. Karl Lagerfeld, Creative Director and Head of Design for Chanel before his passing on Feb. 19, did not disappoint. Just before the Chanel show began, audio recordings of Lagerfeld speaking in French played over speakers and said, “It’s like walking in a painting.”
As his final line made its mark set in an alpine ski town complete with piles of snow, smoking chimneys and après-ski clothes. Opening the show with one minute’s silence for the late German designer, his pieces were then presented on a catwalk amid a wintry backdrop, including snow and a dozen wooden swiss chalets. Both a muse and close friend of Lagerfeld, Cara Delevingne opened the show wearing a full-length houndstooth coat over a checked tweed jump- suit. The stunning black and white look featured a matching hat and beaded Chanel necklaces.
A familiar winter trend seen on the Chanel runway was chunky-knit sweaters uniquely paired with a skirt and shearling boots. The models wore loose, long menswear-inspired coats in houndstooth and herringbone prints wrapped at the waist over pleat-front pants that took inspiration from men’s suiting. These more Chanel classic tweed styles gave way to the brightly colored puffer jackets and zip front bodysuits.
Staying in the theme with the snowy tundra, the show closed with models: Adut Akech, Kaia Gerber and Penelope Cruz who smiled down the runway holding a white rose. Though nothing about the show encouraged an emotional response, the finale brought many to tears closing the entire Grand Palais with a standing ovation that lasted for several minutes.