It’s official, trainers and plimsolls are back in fashion once again. It’s a controversial trend though, with many people stubbornly against the idea of trainers being worn with couture dresses. However, for the Chanel 2014 spring/summer collection, Karl Lagerfeld showed that sneakers can in fact be worn with an evening dress.
Of course these aren’t just ordinary trainers, and they certainly aren’t cheap. They aren’t being sold over the counter anyway, in fact, most of them are only available if you purchase the entire outfit. Looking closely you can see that each pair is embroidered, covered in jewels and laser cut to make parts of it look like lace. Lagerfeld also incorporated sparkly knee and elbow pads into some of the designs, another element that is scarcely seen in Haute Couture shows.
Cara Delevingne (pictured above) opened the show dressed as the ‘Chanel bride’, complete with her own page boy who carried her train. The set for the catwalk was quite elaborate, featuring multiple staircases, which are normally avoided at all costs due to models wearing skyscraper heels. But since trainers are so comfortable, all 65 models were able to parade up and down the stairs with ease.
However, as refreshing and convenient the trainers are, they did cause controversy. The majority of people were delighted the unique concept, and many ladies are now coveting their own pair of sparkly sneakers. But, these days it seems whatever designers send down the runway is met by multiple forms of criticism. The idea of wearing flat trainers with such beautiful evening dresses left some with only outrage and bewilderment. The primary reason being one of the fundamental fashion rules that women live by is that you always wear heels with an evening dress.
But let’s be honest here, no one is really going to their next party in trainers. I’d like to restate here that this Chanel show is Haute Couture. I actually addressed this issue in a previous article, but it’s apparent that a lot of people don’t know the difference between Haute Couture and ‘Pret-a-porter’ shows. Keeping it short, Haute Couture is basically the time when designers get to show off their talents and craftsmanship. There isn’t a large market for these pieces, but hundreds of hours can be spent producing just one. So the designers aren’t making these outfits for people to purchase or copy, they’re just exhibiting what they can do.
Personally, I like to see the industry leaders like Chanel breaking the rules and taking risks like this. Of course I don’t like everything that they produce, but usually I can understand the intention behind it. But even if one season the collection is too outrageous or bizarre for me to handle, I still appreciate the incredible workmanship that does into creating it.