There was some early morning rain on October 5th– the great morning of fashion week. Karl Lagerfeld showed his collection for Chanel in Grand Palais – the Grand Canyon of Paris. The whole stage was grand in nature and was shown as a replica of the Versailles garden. The only distinguishing difference was that the garden had a black and white, monochromatic color scheme which portrayed the garden in a different light. The runway theme was inspired by the film, “Last Year at Marienbad”, where Coco Chanel designed costumes that were worn in the film. The elaborately structured fashion event was described by some as a gala and others called it a “spectacle”. The event was organized with the “beau monde” of Paris in mind and in turn, was a very luxurious engagement. It was one of the rare moments in fashion, where fashion and theatre were paired to create a similar affect that attending an Opera emits: grandeur, emotion, and beauty. The modern classics of Bjork to The Verve’s, “Bittersweet Symphony” were the sounds of music that echoed through Grand Palais.
The show was vast in nature with close to 90 models participating in the runway show and extensive decorations helped set a welcoming atmosphere. Lagerfeld had all the fashion icons in attendance at the show: Angela Lindvall, Erin Wasson, Carmen Kass and model of the moment Karlie Kloss all walked the 90-looks collection. But the highlight of the night was undoubtedly Ines de la Fressange, the first model to be exclusively contracted by Chanel. Ines de la Fressange walked the runway in a long black gown styled with layers of gold chains.
The fashion show was admittedly a huge success and housed over 2,000 people. From concept to design, the event was thought-provoking and lavishing. Indeed we have been spoiled today by such great treatment. While the original idea was to show the mastery of man over nature, what turned out at the end was the exciting work of Karl Lagerfeld and his continuous endeavors to bring about new techniques to revive Chanel’s heritage.
It was “love at first sight” with Chanel’s spring 2011 collection! It was an uncontested fact that Karl Lagerfeld draws the most glamorous women at Paris Fashion Week and so it was earlier today, that Claudia Schiffer, Vanessa Paradis, Keira Knightley, Lou Doillon, Alexa Chung and Lily Allen all congregated to view the latest collection. The morning was truly a Parisian affair with cherished French ingénues Virginie Ledoyen and Clemence Poesy in attendance.
I certainly felt as if I had stepped through a wardrobe and arrived in Wonderland where women are eternally chic and sophisticated, refined in poetry, music and art. An appropriate moodiness opened the show and the first outfit to come down the runway was a distressed Chanel-style look, which featured faux-wrecked tweeds and distinct holes that were impeccably embroidered for longevity; it was very chic. Lagerfeld offered an abundance of new line-ups that stood out amongst the dramatic setting. Although the ideas came too fast and there was a lot to absorb, there were some clear motifs. Hemlines were long and short, and the colors soft and pale: pink, sky blue, peach, gold and silver tones — and heaps of black.
Lagerfeld’s favorite jacket, a short tweed with a loose back, with black leather in concert with a vibrant tweed or print a racy alternative, with variations on the tweed suit-namely mini culottes paired with boxy blazers in a cool palette of pastels with a slight dose of sparkle. This was classic Chanel at its best. Leather thigh-highs, rough hemmed jackets, and embroidered denim. The clothes were light in both construction and attitude. A pale pink taffeta dress and jeans were slashed with holes and then embroidered with black beads. Lagerfeld lavished the clothes with feathers, exquisite embroidery, and giant floral impressionistic prints. The hem was filled in with pink feathers, which made it look absolutely fantastic, like an exotic bird from the tropics. The look was incredibly amazing was so inviting, it felt as if there was a voice in my head saying, “Let fly with me” to the fantasy of Wonderland – where this bird came from. Feather Fair!
The show felt like an amazing parade. At the end of the show, all of the models froze between ornaments of garden like antic statues for few several minutes. And then, Ines de la Fressange ran to the entrance to meet Karl Lagerfeld – the magician of this show. They walked hand-in-hand around the garden, and all the other models followed them. It was a well-executed, dramatic Parisian affair.