Chanel Spring Summer 2012 Undersea Fantasy

October 4, 2011

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

Please follow us on....

You Might Also Like

  • Dovey October 4, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    I love the clean light and bright aesthetic of the undersea theme! I’m so glad you shared pictures. I was hoping to see more after seeing a snippet on NYTimes.

  • Katherine October 4, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Lovely! It’s nice to see pale rather than tanned skin for spring/summer.

    • catdary2010 October 18, 2011 at 12:56 am

      True. I can not stand that fake crusty tan look that so many celebrities are sporting.

  • Eileen October 4, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    I’ve fallen in love with that little blue dress with the white jacket and blue lepels. The cut of the lepels and jacket is simply stunning and the dress can only be described as a confection. Frothy, but tailored. I love it! The light, pearly make-up is quite pretty as well but will be a tough sell in places Iike Southern California where summer is all about the golden glow. It will be interesting to see what Philips actually has in store for us. Thanks for the great pictures, Amy.

  • Aleksis October 4, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Wow these pictures literally took my breath away! Natasha Poly look stunning as does Candace Swanpoel!

  • Tea October 5, 2011 at 1:14 am

    Wow! This is my favourite Chanel look for a little while, wearable but classically polished!

  • Anna October 5, 2011 at 3:10 am

    Looks like new collection will be less pearly but this glossimer reminds me of Nakkar or Aragonite. Which one was the white?

    • Eileen October 5, 2011 at 4:56 pm

      Hi Anna,

      Aragonite was the white. nakkar was the soft red.

  • Karyn October 5, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Wow these look amazing and FLORENCE from Florence and the Machine looks amazing.

    I love that iridescent eyeshadow.

  • honor October 5, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Amy, here are some few infos on the makeup used in french unfortunately
    here is a very rough translation

    On the eyes, Peter Philips applied mascara on the upper lashes and some eye liner to emphasize the eyes and give better definition to the face. The glow touch is brought with illusion d’ombre in Fantasme used all over the lid to give a wet effect to the skin. this highlighting touch is blended on the outer corner of the eye with illusion d’ombre émerveillée.
    brows are drawn with a brow pencil . The lips are barely made up with a touch of luminous gloss, without any shimmer.
    the final touch is brough with a blush “Horizons de Chanel” a shade which is both coral and pink.
    hope thsi helps

    • Amy October 5, 2011 at 7:50 am

      Thank you Honor. You are a treasure!

  • Zeynep October 5, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Amy – check the Beauty Counter blog at first glimpse of Chanel Spring polishes!

    • Amy October 5, 2011 at 8:11 am

      Thank you so much!! I’ll edit the main post!!

  • Ilaria October 5, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Here you are other news!

    I love your blog, so please consider this little help as thanks for your precious job!
    Kisses from Italy, Ilaria

    • Amy October 5, 2011 at 4:11 pm

      Thank you so much!! I appreciate it!

  • Christina October 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    You have a great blog. There are so many interesting posts to read through.

  • Ava October 5, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    I love the unconventional use of pearls throughout the collection, and on the body. It’s so Chanel: making unusual use of a traditional accessory. But like Eileen, I’m not sure about the makeup. It looks great on the models, but I would look washed out…of course, I may change my mind by spring, having worn the darker Fall and Holiday collections all fall and winter!

  • Modesty Brown October 6, 2011 at 6:06 am

    The stage looked amazing. I love the individual pearls placed on the face and neck, such an interesting detail. Thank you for sharing these wonderful images, it was a real treat to read through!

  • An Introduction to Koh Gen Do Foundations - Café Makeup » Café Makeup October 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    […] on my skin) and Tient Innocence Compact (which has too much coverage for my skin type). There are reports that Chanel will release new Vitalumiere compact products in Spring 2012, although I’m not […]