03 August 2010

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Chanel Haute Couture Fall Winter 2010

Chanel Haute Couture Fall Winter 2010-11
Rumours were abound throughout couture week in Paris of Karl Lagerfeld‘s latest colossal feat for the house of Chanel. From farmhouses to icebergs, the previous efforts were nothing short of extraordinary – and tuesday night’s display proved no less fantastical.
Embossed with a golden lion’s head, the invitation for the Haute Couture Fall Winter 2010-11 show read “Sous la signe de la lion”. Under the sign of the lion. Arriving through the security gates at the Grand Palais, one could not quite grasp the meaning of this until reaching the top steps of the covered entrance, whereupon rose the grandiose figure of a gilded lion – his front paw resting on a glossy white pearl. Standing over twelve metres tall and taking set designer Stefan Lubrina and his team more than four months to create, the lion was crafted in steel and aluminium with a polystyrene skin.
Appearing out of the lion’s pearl, models circled the enormous beast – one of Chanel’s most poignant symbols as Coco was born under the starsign Leo. With flyaway straight hair from Sam McKnight and berry red lips from Peter Philips, the girls appeared as bold, modern princesses opening in a series of crop-sleeved skirt suits in claret, chocolate, beige and black. Playing with proportions, Karl showed a curved shoulder that cocooned to the elbow or wrist – and loose, quilted boots from the Parisian shoemaker Massaro that sat mid calf for a relaxed luxury. Regal military and tuxedo detailing was executed in velvet, satin and tweed –  with cropped or cinched jackets accentuating a slim, high waist with A-line and pencil skirts ending at the knee or just below. Upon the wrist, a knotted gauntlet of golden chains and medallions seemed both ornamental and incarcerating, like a ceremonial handcuff for a sacrificed maiden.
As the show moved from the opulently dark outerwear, evening pieces burst in dark floral embroideries and graduated through royal shades of crimson, gold and blue. Geometric lattice work of sequins and encrusted cropped jackets were layered over frothy tulles, always respecting a textural play with the long and short pieces. The final looks were minidresses shimmering in a riot of glittering tapestry, and for the bridal procession (always the cherry on Karl’s cake) Iris Strubegger emerged hand-in-paw with Baptiste Giabaconi dressed in a black tuxedo and hiding beneath a lion head mask.
Striking a vibrant chord with his upbeat tunes, sound stylist Michel Gaubert used Timothy Andres‘ contemporary piano stylings for an orchestral and rather cinematic sound experience – a sense of urgency and bright energy ensuring the lion’s symbology was not lost in a dirge of heavy strings.
Diffusing such a powerful symbol through an entire collection, Karl Lagerfeld’s sumptuous Chanel couture called upon world history and mythologies with high-impact results.
Chanel – just like the lion – demands power not through aggressive action or cunning, but with a grand majesty that befits its royal status in the fashion jungle. Under the sign of the lion, hear them roar. Free Glam Gift*. Make this tote bag yours with any women's fragrance purchase over $59. *Offer valid with women's fragrance purchase over $59. Quantities while supplies last.

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