Hobo chic? For the debut of Chanel’s haute couture collection this season, Karl Lagerfeld sent out a trio of male Huckleberry Finns whose outfits were topped off with frayed straw hats. One model even carried a watering can. The set for the show was a faux mechanical garden. What ensued for the ladies: distressed ladylike Chanel suits and skirt suits worn with giant straw hats wrapped haphazardly in black tulle, or knitted sequined granny-style hats with veils. The latter were occasionally adorned with kitschy junkyard florals. Traditional Chanel jackets and skirts came shredded at the hems, including two red and coral plaid crop-top looks.
Two long silk cherry red and bubblegum pink dresses were worn open and tied at the waist with belts over matching dresses and skirts woven in a fashion reminiscent of ’80s potholders (number 10 out of 12 on Grandparents.com’s Retro Toys roundup). A stunning electric red dress coat done in sequins looked like Astroturf next to its faux floral cuffs and hem. Only the Kaiser can take such inherently down-market American concepts (remember the giant supermarket show?) and turn them into fashionable fodder for one of the most elite French fashion houses around.