When Karl Lagerfeld picked Hamburg, his birth town as the backdrop and inspiration for the Chanel pre-fall show, one expected lots of nostalgia. But the German designer defied expectations with a modern collection that paid tribute to the city’s seafaring history instead. Cue all things sailor-inspired, nautical and highly covetable:
1. Sailor's cap
Every one of the 87 looks in the show was topped with a sailor’s peaked cap by Maison Michel, highlighting its versatility. It appeared in every iteration: in wool, tweed, and embellished with baubles, brooches and pendants. It was seen on cable-knit sweaters and pea coats to tuxedos, and even accompanied by a tulle veil with the eveningwear looks. Scroll through the slideshow for all the looks.
2. Middy collar
Chanel's quintessential tweed suit was reinterpreted with a middy collar and floppy bow, with strings of pearls by metiers d’art partner Goosens highlighting the collarbone. It recalls a collection by Gabrielle Chanel in 1913 (shortly after she opened her boutique in Deauville), where she reinterpreted the sailor suit.
On 27 June 1914, WWD reported on the collection: “Gabrielle Chanel has on display some extremely interesting sweaters which embrace new features…These sweaters resemble in cut the middy blouse…. A great success is predicted for those sweaters, the striped ones being most striking in effect.”
Besides the middy collar, other elements from the sailor's uniform such as the striped top and twisted braids from the sailor's cordage, also made its way into the collection.
3. Oversized sweater with thigh-high socks
One of the most youthful looks on the runway had a ’60s beatnik aesthetic, and was also one of the easiest to pull off: A chunky, short sweater mini-dress, thigh-high ribbed socks, heeled ornament brogues and a peaked cap. Complete it with a cross-body bag, like one that is shaped like an accordion. Male models also appeared in chunky cable-knit sweaters, toting oversized cross-body drawstring bags, complete with a pipe in the mouth.
4. Sailor pants in tweed
You can’t get as classic as the high-waisted double-buttoned sailor's trousers, an essential item in every working naval officer’s wardrobe. Chanel has put its haute spin on it with Desrues buttons and finished in navy tweed—which looks sleek as a modern cocktail outfit when paired with a sleek halter and cable-knit fingerless gloves.
5. Bags, bags, bags
So many bags to lust after. The minaudière of the collection was a boxy resin piece that looked like a miniature version of the shipping containers stacked on Hamburg's dockside. Then there was a mini Chanel life buoy wrapped in gold rope. Need more space? The oversized duffels carried by the male models were undeniably lust-worthy. But our favourite has to be the navy quilted wool chain bag (see above), embellished with nautical charms. It's a classic piece to own for years to come.
Click through the gallery below to see more accessories from the Chanel-Hamburg collection:
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