Lagerfeld approaches his themes with literal elan, but lately - as in this show - he’s been foregoing the humour he’s often used to turn these ideas on their head. His last haute couture show for Chanel imagined a palatial French fountain setting, the ready-to-wear show before that a luxuriant French waterfall. It seems that Lagerfeld, now bearded like the wiseman he is, finds a need for a more serious and elegant approach to life in the troubled time we live in. He may be flexing his political muscle in the press but on the massive platform that is his Chanel runway, Lagerfeld is cutting through the noise of the news machine, gifting the world with quiet moments of reflection and appreciation for the things we take for granted. “You know, I’ve always loved autumn. This is a kind of Indian summer with all the leaves. It’s a beautiful mood,” he noted. “Autumn was always my favourite season.”
And so, he staged an 80-exit appreciation march of looks that could only be described as autumnal. It opened with terrific greatcoats, then ankle-length skirt suits whose tweeds lent themselves quite naturally to the surroundings. Quilting and padding were Lagerfeld’s proposals for an outdoorsy Chanel uniform, backed up by furry jackets and capes. Those autumnal colours were reflected in burnt metallics (good patina gold boots and gloves) and in leaf prints on airy ruffle dresses. His new ambassador Kaia Gerber joined the walk in the forest but it was another girl close to Lagerfeld’s heart, who had the honour of closing the show.