Chanel Dedicates Japan Haute Couture Show to Earthquake Victims

Mar 28, 2012 By Lauren Valenti

Chanel has dedicated a fashion show featuring the house’s most recent Spring haute couture collection to victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The collection originally shown in Paris was as streamlined as its surroundings would suggest. The event took place in Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward in the Shunjuku Gyoen National Garden; the show being held in a specially constructed space built to imitate the interior of a futuristic luxury airliner. Like the Paris extravaganza, the garments shone. Lagerfeld takes as innovative an approach to garment construction as he does for his approach to promoting awareness for the cause. Boasting over one hundred fifty shades of blue, the collection was full of classic Chanel items, dresses and jackets in thick structural fabrics with a motif of a stand-up boat collar pervaded. A drop waist was the dominating silhouette which offered a sophisticated, yet youthful and feminine attitude to the collection. The silhouette makes a long and lean line for the body, creating elegant, flattering proportion.

 Before the collection moves into the lavish and elaborate evening gowns, which dominate the last half of the collection, it seems surprisingly wearable for haute couture, featuring coats, jackets, and dresses that any girl would kill to wear to lunch with her friends. Lagerfeld stated that innovative fabrics were used for the traditional-meets-ultramodern looking garments stating, “A lot of it isn’t even fabric. It’s embroidery.” That concept can be seen quite clearly in some of the later pieces which focus heavily on fabric manipulations such as embellishment and embroidery. There is a reason Chanel is so famed for it’s eveningwear, and one only must look at these gowns to understand why. There is still delightful hints of eccentricity in special aspects of the silhouettes such as structural sleeves or intriguing pocket placement. Tim Blanks of Style.com declared that if the fabric wasn’t full of embroidery, “it was cellophane. Or something else unlikely. And yet, there was a classic elegance about the result.”

There is also an elegance about the attitude to use beautiful fashion for a cause as important as this. We applaud Lagerfeld and Chanel for showing that the brand is very much about graceful clothes, but also emphasizes a graceful, giving attitude. This runway extravaganza for the victims of Japan is an excellent example of using fashion for a cause.

By: Sarah Humphries

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