The Holiest of the Holy: CHANEL Couture Spring 2014

The superb Chanel Haute Couture collection for the Spring of  2014 was presented in the round, Cambon Club at the Grand Palais in Paris in January.  Karl Lagerfeld’s models made their entrance from cylindrical mirrored enclosures to the accompaniment of a full orchestra playing at the foot of the stage.

The Haute Couture collection for Spring 2014 is another example of Karl Lagerfeld’s penchant for the incorporation of magic into his designs, flowing effortlessly.

Lagerfeld believes in enchantment and the collection exemplifies it with a line of cinched waist tweeds that, of course, was like nothing he has ever done.  His 30-year track record at Chanel attests to his legendary judgment and creativity.

Lagerfeld was proclaiming the phenomenon that is couture: it can be young, it can be active and it can be versatile; all while remaining exceptionally, deliciously fashionable.

In the line-up were designs as diverse as heavenly gowns and sheer T-shirt-and-bicycle shorts ensembles with the touch of sporty cinched waists.  There were exquisite hand-loomed fabrics, lavishly embroidered and, of course, beautifully tailored.  Iridescent, transparent, holographic effects, the stuff that legends are made of enhanced the collection.

Leave it to Karl Lagerfeld to be so in tune with youth culture at the age of 80.  And what footwear would he select to complement all those classic Chanel tweeds and gowns?  Sneakers.  Imagine, sneakers with Chanel haute couture.

The jackets were of all sleeve lengths and the skirts’ waistlines were lowered to reveal fantastically slimmed waistlines.

The standout of the collection was a white floral cropped dress slimmed at the waist by the judicious use of black sequins.  Simply spectacular!  Slim waist dresses were the staple of the collection.  There were chiffon playsuits in a multitude of colors, like lavender and a bright pink.  One multihued dress was accompanied with matching sneakers, a silver fanny pack, elbow and knee guards.

The knee pads, elbow pads and fanny packs were accessories on a number of the dresses.  These accoutrements were scattered throughout the collection in various colors for a sporty touch.   Who else would pair up a nearly sheer champagne sequined tunic top with matching biker shorts or a fully sequined pants suit! Only the Karl! The models had wild, spiked hair with white eyeliner that played marvelously with the sneakers.  Leave it to Lagerfeld to put a totally youthful feel to the presentation.

The eveningwear at the end of the show was a parade of luxurious gowns.  While they were all phenomenal there were two that caught my eye: a magnificent champagne hued empire waist column gown and an equally impressive silver tweed gown with flowers on the cap sleeves jacket.  It was accompanied with an ornate, crocheted silver jacket.  

Other frock options included spectacular, unconventional gowns like a black feathered cropped dress, sporting noir tulle sleeves and skirt.  Traditionally the close of the show was the Chanel bride in a spectacular, white glittery floor-length dress complete with spiked feathers.The mythology and legend of Mr. Lagerfeld is evident in the historical record that his designs have created.  He is a natural phenomenon!