Chanel Fabric Swatches, Spring-Summer 2011.
Chanel Fabric Swatches, AW11.
When designers are pulling a collection together, there is much visualisation which has to occur as they imagine sketches paired with fabric swatches and try to make a mental picture of each garment, and how that garment will fit within an entire collection. For this reason sometimes it is nice to follow the process backwards, and abstract the collections back down to just the original swatches of fabrics.
This time, let’s look at a comparison between the fabrics chosen for the Chanel Spring-Summer 2011 collection, and those chosen for the Chanel Autumn-Winter 2011 collection. Chanel makes an interesting example because so much of the brands image is linked to the tweed suit - and therefore much of the success of the collection must ride on Karl Lagerfeld’s ability to reinvent the tweed fabric each season. Or to create a similar aesthetic with other fabrics. As you can see below many of the fabrics have some connection to a tweed or bouclé whether it be in texture, or some sort of reference in pattern or yarn quality, even if they are not actually technically a tweed.
It is also interesting to note how much of a difference the colours make in the palettes of both collections. When abstracted down there is clearly a lighter, airier and more pastel based summer palette and then a darker, heavier, more monochrome winter palette.
Below are images from each of the collections so that you can see the fabrics back in context:
Chanel, SS11, Paris.
Chanel, AW11, Paris.
Catwalk images from Vogue.co.uk»