Karl Lagerfeld has suggested a new age while casually mining the distant past. Who else could take Chanel’s Maltese cross inlaid cuffs and riff on Byzantium’s Empress Theodora and come up with a collection rife with possibilities. A time so ancient would bring to mind clothing and accessories that shriek “Museum show” or “costume”, certainly not “Modern” or “New”. But that’s precisely what this collection heralds. It’s thrilling to see how aesthetics, taste and the zeitgeist can be nudged ever so deftly by his brilliant imagination. Time and again, Lagerfeld and the good ship Coco conquer unknown lands, mapping and measuring a world we never knew existed. From the first exit the lines have been subtly altered with a closer, cleaner shoulder, an even higher armhole and a long languid length that purrs ease and languor. He seems to find evermore, fascinating ways to express a heightened glamour by way of an unstudied elegance.
The fabrics on the surface appear familiar, as do the details until you take a closer look. Tweeds are shot through with what appears to be molten gold and in other instances oxidized silver threads. This rich, golden cast informs almost every shade. The staples of a Chanel collection such as jackets, suits, dresses, knitted dresses and separates and the ubiquitous evening dresses and gowns are adorned with brooches, amulets, ropes of chain and obscenely beautiful cabochon stones of every imaginable type. It's a feast cooked up for an Empress but accessible to us, mere mortals. This woman is truly at ease with splendor, which is a far cry from most couture-coddled groupies. Lagerfeld has given women permission to let it rip and has shown them how to do it with taste, restraint and humility. Who knew that the ne plus ultra could be so sensible?
What a wonderful world this can be…What a glorious time to be Free!