Saturday, March 13, 2010

Arctic Chill: Chanel Autumn/Winter 2010/11

By Christine Suppes, Editor at Large

Fake fur gives me the creeps. To be balanced, so does all but vintage “real stuff”. And fake fur was the gist of Karl Lagerfeld’s prêt-a-porter show at the Grand Palais. I knew we were in for some arctic chill when I had to drape a huge cashmere shawl over my Lesage embroidered frock---global warming I believe it is called, when Paris turns into Siberia in March. So Mr. Lagerfeld was already one up on us--the cover of the Chanel invitation was a Lagerfeld rendition of a polar bear, and the stage set was an arctic scene, complete with melting ice caps and two inches of water. This was the water in which the models jauntily walked, dragging their knee high fake fur boots, fake fur leggings (!) and seventies style fake fur pimp coats. The medium is the message, and Mr. Lagerfeld massages that message very well. He sneaked in several gorgeous embroidered couture looking dresses with matching coats and jackets. The white collection was particularly refined and chic. The swing coats were a delight. But it was the fake fur we will remember, and the models slogging around in the water. We’ll be seeing the look in Aspen no doubt, if Madoff has not wiped out all the fashionistas. Who else will spend five digit figures on caveman clothes?

Post script: I saw more than one buyer go labile after the show. Like a gorgeous party, the afterglow was a serious case of nerves. Will the clients be willing to fork over thousands of dollars for fake fur, even if Mr. Lagerfeld refers to it as “the chicest fake fur”? My crystal ball says probably.

Photos by Monica Feudi, 2010

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