Chanel hits on an ankle boot to get spring into its stride
Lisa Armstrong HEAD OF FASHION in Paris
There were a few shenanigans at Virginie Viard’s latest couture collection for Chanel. By which I mean eye-catching moments designed to appeal to the short attention span of the audience. These included top hats, bow ties worn as chokers and lots of animals. Yes, 24 hours after Schiaparelli whipped up a mini soufflé of internet wrath with its giant fake lion heads that were attached to what would otherwise have been rather wellengineered black dresses, Chanel’s creative director came out with her own bestiary, apparently inspired by the drawings of lions and stags that Coco collected. You wait years for lions to dominate shows… At Chanel, they were more subtle, mainly confined to embroideries and shared space with rabbits, corgis, deer and kittens. Coco Chanel was a Leo. So is Kylie Jenner, Kardashian scion and a front row guest at the Schiaparelli show on Monday. Both she and Coco could be said to be role models and are undeniably entrepreneurs. Maybe there’s something in this lion theme. But, more interesting, for those looking for ideas on how to prep a tired winter formula for spring, were those ankle boots. Oval-toed, with contrasting black tips and a low block heel and rising to mid shin, or in some cases higher, they came in white or gold. Some were laced, but the easier-going ones weren’t. Perfect for wearing with midis or trousers, they were partnered with so many outfits, from shorts suits to floor-length evening dresses. It’s pretty obvious where Viard’s priorities lie with this collection. So yes, although there were plenty of clothes – the lavishly embroidered, incredibly light and subtly twinkly kind you expect from a Chanel couture collection, plus some rather lovely floaty bias cut chiffon dresses and denim blue tweeds – it’s this style of ankle boot we’re soon going to see a lot more of. Chanel’s forthcoming advertising campaigns are bound to feature them, but they’ll also be on the high street as other brands bring out their versions. For many of us, they can’t come too soon. There will come a point, sometime in the next six weeks, when chunky tractor sole boots and fleecy socks start to feel a bit onerous. However, it will still be far too soon to wear sandals with bare feet. What to wear instead? A stretchy, sock-like, comfortable boot that can look smart, casual, polished or relaxed, in a shade that’s not tied to any one season. This is it, folks. Let the more affordable brands do their work – or start saving very hard for the real thing.