Posts Tagged 'couture'

54 collections later

This week in Paris a handful of designers showed their couture collections which showcase what is supposed to be the best and most extravagant masterpieces in fashion. They explore the fantastical, the ridiculous, the unimaginable. The techniques they employ are the most advanced and detailed oriented. It is in a different class entirely from the ready-to-wear collections during fashion week. To the untrained eye (that is me), the technique reveals itself through the extravagant details like beads, feathers, fur, ruffles but the aesthetics of the over-the-top usually turns me off couture. Like a lot of fashion, it’s a strange acquired taste.

Karl Lagerfeld’s collection for Chanel this week is the first time I have been stunned by the beauty of couture and the first time I have appreciated Lagerfeld’s work for Chanel. Chanel’s fashion shows are hard to swallow because they are overdone with lace, bows, pearls in a sea of pastels. The gaudiness of ceiling height models of cake or purses distracts me from the clothes and I can only wonder why this decor and setting? But if you can get over all of that and just accept the pastels, the clothes are beautiful.

There have been many draped dresses, but few that ripple as elegantly and naturally as these from Chanel’s spring 2010 couture collection. The seams of the dress disappear and it looks as if fairies descended and draped the cloth on the models.

Dresses that flow like water. (Photos:

Cathy Horyn, the NYTimes fashion critic, wrote on her blog, ” Karl Lagerfeld said he had been thinking for awhile about how to do a seamless dress and only recently found a method that satisfied him. He said he thought this collection might be his most interesting in terms of technique. “It took me 54 collections to get there,” he said.”

Also impressive is Lagerfeld’s innovation and creativity in working with the iconic classics of Chanel. The quilt, the tweed, the black dress, the suit. It is incredible that in Lagerfeld’s 27 years at Chanel, he has started almost every collection couture or ready-to-wear with a few new variations on the Chanel suit and in doing so, has kept the look contemporary and relevant.

Variations on the Chanel suit in Lagerfeld's couture collections from fall 2006 to spring 2010 (photos:

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