The Invitation Grand Palais, Paris October 4, 2012

Today at the Grand Palais in Paris, Chanel presented its Spring/Summer 2012 ready to wear show.  The theme was an undersea fantasy, staged on an pearl white set with sea creatures and underwater foliage.  The models emerged from a giant white shell, here they are lining up behind Karl Lagerfeld for the finale.

As you can see, the color palette was very light and delicate for this season.  There is a light and luminosity throughout, punctuated by very discreet uses of black in pinstripe square shapes or silver metallics on shoes and accessories.

The stage with shells and sea creatures scattered throughout the venue:

More of the finale:

The makeup was light, delicate and pearly, with very light shimmery lips and cheeks.  The eyes had a ethereal glow but were grounded in a deliberate black liner. Hair and skin were accessorized with single pearls.

Some of the looks:

On the left here, you can see that the fabric has an iridescent shimmer.  In the center, one of the few pieces of black.  On the far right, the pinstripe black square pattern appeared in many pieces throughout the collection (click to enlarge):

 More looks, echoing highly stylized scale patterns from fish, shimmery fabrics and blues that echo oceanic waters (click to enlarge):

Karl and his entourage:

UPDATED:  The products used backstage are reported as:

Vitalumière Compact and Vitalumière Aqua Cream Compacts (available March 2012)

–  Illusion d’Ombre in 81 Fantasme (reviewed here) to create glimmering lids

–  Illusion Ombre 82 Emerveillé (reviewed here)

–  Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Ebene 

–  Mascara Inimitable Waterproof in Black

–  L’Horizon de Chanel, a blush compact with graduating shades of pink that can be swirled on for multi-dimensional color

– Rouge Coco Baume 

– Lèvres Scintillantes Glossimer lip shine in Plaisir 

A glimpse of a white pearly nail:

Curiously, this white pearl color is not among the three that Chanel is previewing (see also here) for release next Spring (called April, May and June).  Here’s the three:


I’ve since heard that the pearly white is called “Attraction” and will be released by Chanel over the next several months.

Chanel Creative Director of Makeup and Genius Peter Philips at work backstage applying the pearls to a model:

 This model looks alive, flawless and glowing.  The hair is slicked back and adorned with pearls:

A few more.  As you likely know, pearls were one of Coco Chanel’s signatures:

Brows look natural and full, absolutely stunning:

A finishing touch:

Just because I can’t resist, here is one shot of Peter Philips on the set of the pre-show press kit shooting.  You can see that the makeup is done very similarly here to the runway look:

Well, beauties, what do we think about this season’s collection?

Pictures are from,, The New York Times, and

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