For Chanel, sometime director and film star Karl Lagerfeld took his cues from celluloid, garnering inspiration for spring from 1961’s Last Year at Marienbad. Evoking one of the perplexing, enigmatic French film’s most famous scenes, the show’s Grand Palais setting conjured manicured chateau grounds, rendered in an old-school, black-and-white palette. Led by a full orchestra, models traversed white gravel pathways offset by graphite-hued hedgerows. No iceberg cameo this time, but multiple fountains (and a turn from Inès de la Fressange) added to the show’s groomed allure.
The formal backdrop proved a pleasant counterpoint to the clothing itself, which skewed whimsically unorthodox, by Chanel standards. In lieu of trim and prim tweed suits, Lagerfeld sent out looser jackets and skirts riddled with holes, suggesting outfits that had languished, beautifully, alongside rabid moths in grandmother’s closet. Fabrics weren’t just frayed; they were perforated and left with unfinished hems. The vibe was distinctly more youthful than in seasons past, evident in both the clothes’ lighter construction and the ensembles themselves—namely, three-quarter-length, A-line jackets paired with hot pants. Hot pants? Hot pants!