We all know what Karl Lagerfeld does best – reinterpreting heritage designs of the French fashion house for contemporary looks that we can’t help but adore. In the case of the latest ready-to-wear collections, he works once more with Chanel’s signature herringbone motif into summery silhouettes and fabrics.
The now iconic herringbone started out as a twill fabric bearing a zigzag pattern. Since Gabrielle Chanel constantly drew inspiration from menswear and tweed that used herringbone, it was often included in her designs. Eventually, she transformed the motif into a pattern and print. Chanel’s suits in the 1920s bore this attractive graphic stitching and in the 60s, it inspired the quilted zigzag designs of her handbags.
Karl Lagerfeld has regularly reinvented the herringbone’s unique visual effect not just for handbags and suits, but also for coats, skirts and dresses to suit modern tastes. Depending on the silhouette, the geometric motif takes on a look that can be vintage, glamorous, elegant or rock ‘n’ roll. For Chanel’s Cruise 2015 collection, the herringbone pattern looks more worldly and exotic, worked in trims of sporty luxe jackets and summer chic garments such as an orange and white romper and a lightweight monochrome wrap. The Spring Summer 2015 accessories also include the versatile print appearing – for the first time – on designs such as a two-tone denim Boy bag, a khaki green leather Boy bag with burnished silver hardware, and a mustard leather handbag with gold hardware.
Clearly, the herringbone is both a unique and versatile pattern that works for a multitude of shades and shapes that can go from day to night. No wonder it remains as one of the label’s most iconic patterns, as it ascribes to the spirit of timeless elegance that Chanel stands for. With its constant successful reinvention, we eagerly await to see what the Kaiser has in store for the herringbone in future collections.