Karl Lagerfeld Reinvents A CHANEL Staple Accessory: The Hat

Hats have been an integral accessory to CHANEL since the dawn of the brand’s existence, first created by young Gabrielle Chanel, who opened her first hat shop at 21 Rue Cambon. Drawing on its heritage, Karl Lagerfeld continues to reinvent the CHANEL staple in his collections, this time, via the Beret, the Boater and Headpieces with Veils.

The Beret

Inspired from menswear, the Beret was one of the most classic pieces of Gabrielle’s wardrobe. The addition of a brooch made the style more feminine, and to her, represented a certain freedom, continuing to reinterpret the style from the 1930s onwards. Lagerfeld takes this legacy and has included the style in several CHANEL collections, worn by talents such as Claudia Schiffer and Karen Elson in 1993 and 1998 for advertisements. In the 2018/2019 Cruise collection, Lagerfeld has adapted the style as a “symbol of the spirit of traveling, of this desire for escape, for dreams and for adventure: The beret punctuates the silhouette with a sophisticated nonchalance so dear to the House,” per the brand. The style is available in more than 15 different tweeds of varied colors, some with embroidered sequins and there with CHANEL-stamped oversized brooches.

Photo Credit: CHANEL

The Boater

Another style adapted from menswear, Gabrielle used a straw boater hat to put an exclamation point on what was a seemingly simple outfit. In his book The Allure of Chanel, Paul Morand recalls Gabrielle’s words: “The women I saw at the races wore enormous loaves in their heads, constructions made of feathers and improved with fruit and plumes. (…) In the grandstands, people began talking about my amazing, unusual hats, so neat and austere. (…) I was the curious creature, the little woman whose straw boater fitted her head, and whose head fitted her shoulders.” Using different materials each season, Lagerfeld’s version for the 2018/2019 Cruise collection is inspired by the sea, with a subtly plunging brim—or to be worn straight on—and made from wheat straw.

2Photo Credit: CHANEL

Headpieces with Veils

A super chic addition to any outfit, Gabrielle updated the veil and brought it back in the 1930s, embellished with ribbons, flowers, feathers anreven birds. A daring but sophisticated accessory, Lagerfeld uses the playful style in his collections, with varied tulles, embroidery, jewelry, brooches, feathers and flowers. For the Sprig-Summer 2018 Haute Couture collection, his veils were varied, with different proportions, topped iwht flowers, different transparencies, embroideries, chiffon flowers, silk, tweed, beads and spring flowers made by the House of Lemarié.

3Photo Credit: CHANEL

For more information, please visit the brand’s website.