A collection of clothes, more like the stars one would view within the highest tech planetarium, was the impression I had of Lagerfeld's Chanel Spring 2010 Haute Couture Collection. The preponderance of silver, and everything pale hued and shot with light as though leafed and glazed in star dust made for a very interesting experience. It felt more like a constellation than a collection.
New techniques were employed that I won't pretend to understand but will only say that he found a way to make seams disappear in the many suits that opened the show. Karl is never satisfied with the status quo in any way which makes his collections consistently rise above and stand out from the pack. The suits were beautiful despite Lagerfeld's clear preference for culottes over skirts. Standing still they were interesting, moving, less so. What caught my eye more than anything was his take on the chemise. Many of the short day and cocktail dresses were all variations on this shape. What was even more arresting were the gowns that continued this theme. I've always felt that this is a shape most flattering to a vast array of body types. Accentuate the positive which invariably is the top of a dress, slide gracefully over the middle, which is often the problem area, and then narrow at the hem. This creates a long line that I personally find very sexy. The eye and mind are left to their imagination. Each model is literally embraced by these clothes. Embroidery and embellishment were more essential than purely decorative on surfaces and as collars or straps to anchor these confections. Draping was more organic and spiraling than tortured . There was no need to advertise the brilliance of his work rooms when most everything they do looks magical.This is not to say the collection was without it Waterloos. Every collection has at least one. There were some awkward and unflattering choices, but they were infused with a certain humor that made them amusing. The detail that seemed the most jarring, beyond dresses resembling over-whipped cotton candy, was Karl's choice of the human accessory,Baptiste Giabiconi ( some interesting pics, so don't forget to click!). He does little for me except to make me think that Lagerfeld has created a living doll resembling his idealized vision of himself. That's just me, but his presence is becoming compelling, nonetheless.
When all is said and sewn,when you've made it there's no need to fake it.
(*This blog edited to change links and add pics 8Feb.2010)