Chanel | The Haute Couture
Paris Couture Week | Fall Winter 2010
Karl Lagerfeld has often insisted that his collections come to him in dreams, but following his new Chanel couture show, he claimed the dream this time had been a nightmare. "No, no, just kidding," he quickly added, but there was a weight to the clothes that suggested a darker thread in Chanel this season. Compared to the glistening sci-fi whites of his Spring couture, these looks had a moody tinge.
But if the collection had a difficult aspect, it also felt brave in its boldness and focus. In place of the magpie glee that can make a Chanel show such a sensory overload, there was an almost military discipline here, even as the parade grew more elaborate with each passing outfit. The combination of voluptuousness and severity could have bordered on an arch libertine sensibility, but barely brushed hair and fresh, girlish makeup added a vital lightness.
The ever-precise Lagerfeld is a textbook Virgo, but in honor of Chanel the Leo, he filled the Grand Palais with a vast and marvelous lion. Its paw rested on a huge globe—a Chanel pearl, perhaps—from which the models emerged. Befitting a collection that had the courage of its convictions, this was a fierce, awe-inspiring creature—one that could have sprung from a dream or even a nightmare.
By Tim Blanks
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