It’s time for a little cleaning up. These are the words spoken by a man who knows more about fashion than Bill Gates knows about hard drives. At least that’s what one is led to believe after witnessing the Chanel Haute Couture F/W 2010-11 show, during which Karl Lagerfeld exhibited the perfect match of strong cuts and delicate details, leading the future of fashion (as Chanel always has) “back to basics.”
Enter the Grand Palais, Paris. At the center of a white rounded stage, stands a larger-than-life liger, reflecting perfectly the coy disposition of this entire collection. As first, models consciously wander the stage as you find yourself in a waking dream: the enlightened soundtrack featuring Timothy Andres feeds each and every piece’s début as if it were a life-changing novel…thoughtful lengths and definitive cuts provide realistic wearability to a beautifully eccentric collection and the subtle strength of the accessories reinvents layers of textured bracelets and simple calf-high slouch boots, accenting every outfit to perfection. As models emerge from a surrealist pearl under the bronze liger, one remarks how no skirt is longer than calf-length, and no sleeve reaches past the elbow: both key characteristics to play with body-conscious women of the modern world.
As the show continues, the spectator is carried back to a glamorous world where womenswear means anything is possible; no longer will haute couture imply simply custom-made artful fashions. This collection ushers in the future of beauty while also succeeding in maintaining an aesthetic that has held this fashion house at the top of the industry for over 100 years.