Archive for ‘Karl Lagerfeld’

December 7, 2012

Chanel Pre-Fall 2013

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“This is about the queen of fashion and the Queen of Scotland—who was also French, you know.” – Karl Lagerfeld

I don’t normally post pre-fall collections, but the Chanel Pre-Fall 2013 collection was so fabulously on point for the season that I had to make a post on it. I find that my initial reactions to collections tend to dictate the coherence of the post, for better or worse, so you are forewarned. Gorgeous, dramatic, and romantic, all characteristics that greatly appeal to me in a collection. And while this is a collection intended for next fall, Karl Lagerfeld timed it perfectly to fit in wonderfully with upcoming the holiday season. Timing, after all, is everything.

There is a distinct lack of tweed and tartan plaid in my closet–two elements largely associated with Coco Chanel. I feel that one must have a certain gravitas to pull them off without feeling particularly stuff and old. That being said, there is a romanticism to this collection that I very thoroughly enjoyed. Karl Lagerfeld always effortlessly alludes to Chanel’s heritage, and pre-fall 2013 certainly remains on par. Moreover, I love the sense of history and dose of drama. Lagerfeld’s technique, of course, is superb, providing a haute couture element to pre-fall. Each piece is finished wonderfully with punctuated flourish. There are plenty of “Elizabethan-accented ruffled necklines, doublet corsets, and ballooning sleeves” intermixed with the classic Chanel suits and Scottish tartan kilts to satisfy consummate Chanel wearers and Elizabethan history buffs alike. This is a collection rich with Scottish heritage without literally getting lost in it. Karl is fantastic at taking an inspiration and rendering it effortlessly relevant, delivering both modern ease-of-wear and intricate craftsmanship. And of course, this collection is beautifully supplemented by the setting. Karl always masterfully sets the tone and mood for every collection, utterly enveloping his audience in his vision. Pre-Fall 2013 happens to be cast in the Scottish courtyard of Linlithgow Palace with snow magically falling just as the first girl walks out.

Please see Sarah Mower’s review for a much more coherent and detailed take on this collection: here

Also, watch the show! Here.

Edit [4/20/2013]: See Trevor Undi’s gorgeous film about this collection

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December 3, 2011

Chanel Spring 2012


 Welcome to Chanel under the sea.

Karl Lagerfeld indulges in an aquatic whimsy this season, complete with glimmering coral and gleaming white sand.  [Trust the Kaiser to herald the next great influence.]  Mais oui, he gives us a rather dreamy poetic perspective of the ocean floor with the models emerging like seas goddesses from the mysterious underworld caves.  But what I love the most is how Lagerfeld has transformed iconic Chanel classics, deconstructing the signature tweed jackets and famous pearl strands.  The iconic boxy Chanel jacket is modernized with shimmering waffled fabrics in a lovely palette of “sea foam, shell pink, and mother-of-pearl.”  [That particular shade of sea foam is oh so pretty and very perfect for spring.]  Largerfeld puts his not-so-inconsiderable technique to work, adding resplendent texture to structured tweed and frothy organza.  It is quite lovely how the light hits this iridescent pieces in just the right way, giving this entire collection a rather ethereal glow about it.  The textured knits provide an intriguing sense of depth to the collection and add to the fantasy the fantastical sea world Lagerfeld builds.

Moreover, I adore how this collection is liberally festooned with pearls.   Rather than luxuriously draping them across the throat, he cast them in an edgier light by placing them on a model’s face like an opulent piercing while the understated elegance of pearl earrings has given way to intricately fierce ear cuffs.  I see them more as part of Chanel beauty rather than accessory.  It reminds me of how the Kaiser did tattooed pearl strands and chains back in Spring 2010.  He always manages to take seemingly incongruous things and fit them to the Chanel aesthetic.  All in all, this a fabulously frothy collection with plenty of pretty to satisfy both the ladies-who-lunch and the ever-trendy socialite.

Oh, and how fantastic does Florence Welch look performing?

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March 12, 2011

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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