If This Chanel Outfit was a Window Treatment…High Fashion On-Trend Window Treatments

The House of Chanel…those two intertwined “C”s. What fashion house better represents generations of high couture? Its namesake Coco Chanel being the ultimate Parisian knower, seer and march-to-her-own drummer. To this day, the fashion house is bold, unapologetic, and feminine without being cloying. Chanel equals style, savvy and timeless elegance. And when you see a woman wearing Chanel, she wears the dress; the dress never wears her.

The art of window fashion, like clothing fashion, is something that looks effortless, but actually, from design to fabrication, takes both skill and artistry. So I got to thinking… If these Chanel fashions were window treatments, what might they be?

This cream and black dress worn by Claudia Schiffer is quintessential Chanel. Here, the classic Chanel banding is made fresh again. The banding intentionally leads and then stops the eye, in just the right places. The color palette is controlled and classic.

Consider then this window treatment with dual banding on the drapery that works in concert with the heavier banding we did on the lead dining chairs. I purposely placed the flourishes in this dining area low to the ground to draw the eye downward toward the floor. This was to help offset the room’s enormously high vaulted ceiling, because the clients needed both grandeur and intimacy. The look is at once classic, tailored, understated and fresh.

Here, I wanted to create an opposing tension to the high cathedral ceiling. The client loved it when I sketched out what we call a tuxedo pleat at the bottom third of the treatment. In the navy Chanel gown shown here, it would be called a cascade ruffle. These sorts of flourishes on window treatments are appropriately called “dress maker details.” They require sensitivity on the part of the designer to the interior and window for which it is designed, as well as to how the fabric will “take the detail and then needle.” Such draperies also require enormous skill at our workroom. These window treatments are done in fine worsted wool – not often seen in home fashions. But the fabric caught my eye in a showroom in New York City with its extraordinary hand and out-of-this-world drape. Not inexpensive I might add/warn.

These cocktail dresses are stunners. The fabric has an extraordinary drape on the body, which can only be achieved with a bias cut on the fabric (That means cutting the fabric on the diagonal. While this makes more waste on the cutting floor, it creates unbelievable drape.) These remarkable hourglass dresses with fullness at top and bottom thanks to their ruffled detail, make you want to take a spin on the dance floor.

That was the idea behind this ladies study too – ball gown draperies. Our beautiful client is a busy executive and mom. She asked us for a quiet, romantic home office. I thought “romantic” was an unusual request for a home office haven, so I gave it great heed. Because the client tends to gravitate toward monochromatic interiors, in order to balance all of the heavy wood and the tight color palette, I asked her if she’d be willing to step out with these ball-gown window draperies. Lots of fabric in these, and lots of workmanship. Notice that, beyond the top flourish, they are in fact very simple silhouettes, made from a faux silk fabric that our client saw and fell in love with. Double layered, the sheer under drapery acts as an under slip so she can close these for veiled privacy or to soften the sun; and when open – they are stunners, too.

No runway here – only windows. No high heels, instead, rods and rings. Still, high fashion in on-trend window treatments is an art in itself, and oh do they make a room come alive with an electrified snap. Where are my pearls?