Chanel Fall 2011


Once again, all hail the Kaiser of fashion.  Only Karl Lagerfeld could pull off a grunge Chanel show accompanied by volcanic lava rocks no less!  The runway was literally smoking from the smoke rising from them.  The influence of the dark volcanic ash and rock could clearly be seen in his darkly brooding decadent designs.  This is by far my favorite Chanel collection done by Karl Lagerfeld.  I always look forward to what crazy concept Karl will pull out next, but I always felt that Chanel was too primly old school for my personal tastes.  In direct contrast to that, I love the edge Lagerfeld brought to this collection and how everything was just slightly beat up.  Yet, the sophisticated sentiment of Chanel can still be felt; he loses none of the spirit of Coco Chanel.  Actually I can total see her approving of the menswear oxfords, slouchy jumpsuits, and masculine silhouettes.

Moreover, this grunge reversal made the collection rather thrilling for how unexpected it was.  The brilliance of Lagerfeld lies in how he manages to revamp Chanel classics.  His “trompe l’oeil ‘layered’ jackets married a shrunken version of the classic Chanel tweedy cardigan over a boyfriend jacket (see Arizona Muse in look 7 L) [while] his shearling versions of that Coco classic looked cozy enough for a dog sled ride across the freezing tundra—or another Manhattan winter” (Hamish Bowle, Vogue review).  I love how none of these edgy chic looks would be amiss seen at the Camden Locks.  He gives me slouchy pants tucked into biker boots or oxfords with scrunched ankle warmers (seen above right).   Which is certainly a look I’ve yet to see from Chanel.  And for evening, Lagerfeld relentlessly presents the glam jumpsuit with shimmery sequins and lace, giving twenties sultriness and punk edginess.  A sequiny edgy jumpsuit was never on my list of wants until now.

One of my favorite things is ladylike punk.  Balenciaga and Proenza Schouler stunned everyone last season for Nicolas Ghesquière and Jack McCollough/Lazaro Hernandez’s respective take on that concept.   Now Karl stunningly delights me again with this brooding grunge take on Chanel tweed.  Utterly ace.  And with it, he most definitely reaffirms his position as Kaiser :)

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