As is the norm here for the house of Chanel, the pre fall presentations are all about the exquisite ateliers than are under the awning of Chanel. This season is no exception albeit there seems to be a bit more of a link between theme and Mademoiselle Chanel; that being her Duke of Edinburgh moment with all that tweed and argyle and tons of cashmere and scenic Scotland. I seem to feel a more 18th century vibe rather than a Chanel moment in overall tone for the season.
Mr. Lagerfeld has taken us to Bombay, St. Petersburg and Venice in previously themed collections but this time I found there to be an allusion to another designer, namely our very own Ralph Lauren. This particular notion struck me upon the first exit and stayed with me erratically throughout the extensive collection. Karl, of course goes far beyond the pale with his presentations while Ralph tries to remain more down to earth but … each designer plays to his customer like a maestro!
With almost one hundred exits, which included some menswear and kids, Mr. Lagerfeld flexed his over the top muscle with looks that ranged from typically Scottish to costume epic and all with the uncanny ability to always remain true to the brand. No question, the collection is to be dissected into tiny pieces, but there was a plethora of jackets and accessories of every kind. Noticeably placed on the back burner were the handbags and shoes, which are such drivers for the brand but, no matter as this is a collection that will soothe the soul of many a faithful Chanel client.
In the vernacular that is Chanel, there were jackets, tweeds, jewelry galore, pantaloons, hobble skirts, plaids and more plaids, fair isles and more fair isles, leathers, starched white stock ties and winter whites that would render any women as a royal .. Unless, of course you opted for the off the shoulder sweater with lace trimmed short skirt… very Desperately Seeking Susan. There were even a few ruffs!
As is the wont of Karl Lagerfeld, the collection is de trop in the extreme and no matter what reference you see, these clothes are the clothes that will grace costume exhibits of future generations at the Met or the V&A. I was especially taken with the whites as they are regal and theatrical and I am betting very high on the list of those fortunate enough to be able to afford them.
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