Bienvenue à la Brasserie Gabrielle where the champagne is free and the clothes are pretty! If last season's shenanigans distracted from the clothes on offer and their role in a woman's life - both the Chanel customer that buys couture and the one that buys a lipstick - this season Karl Lagerfeld put us right bang in the middle of all the action: a day in her life. And, this being Paris, where else could that be set in but a brasserie? In they walked from the revolving doors, smiling at each other from across the room, catching up on the news with an actual newspaper, perching at the bar and chatting with the apron-clad garçon.
This may just have been the most readily accessible Chanel collection in a while. The silhouettes were fuss free, and that most classic of Chanel shoes, the beige and black toe-cap pumps that Mademoiselle introduced in the fifties, were worn with every look. Very classy check pencil skirts were teamed with a perennial Karl favorite, the funnel neck jacket, here with 3D origami sleeves, some of which were fused with puffa pockets. That sportiness playfully clashed with the bourgeois lady staples, so a chic French grandma skirt would feature a sporty sequin embellished hooded jacket on top. Karl's wit was everywhere - a backpack was indistinguishable from its matching red tweed jacket until the model turned around and a rolled up newspaper was sticking out. Elsewhere a clutch was made out of the brasserie plates. Lunch everywhere you go! Interestingly, it was the longer and leaner apron-like skirts which mirrored the waiters' traditional uniform that stood out as new. Karl can do that. A grey mohair coat was fantastic as was a beige butter-soft suede shirtdress with a thin gold chain belt. And they kept coming - feathers and sequins and knits and pearls - another skirt even copied the pattern of the tiled floors, how far in advance did he dream that one up? Some of the models stayed put by their tables and booths while the guests exited, but not before many a selfie was taken. And just to think it will all be gone by tomorrow.