Sunday, May 18, 2014


Tues. 10/01/2013.

Spring 2014. The Year That Chanel Conquered Art! One could View Karl Lagerfeld's Prolific collection as a Conquering of Art and Fashion. Lagerfeld's prodigious output is Legion, Photographer. Director, Artist, Wise-Cracking Philospher! It is this boundless talent that can be harnessed, Focused, Laser Beam like, in any Direction he so chooses and then when chosen, he excels beyond all measures. One simply must look at the Show Space for the Chanel Spring 2014 collection to realize this. Karl had been dabbling for the last year with a full scale take over of the Art scene with his Grandiose Photo Exhibition "The Little Black Jacket" which was as much a Promotional piece for the House of Coco as it was a Photographic Art Installation! 

Looking at the Massive Space of the Grand Palais transmogrified into something Awing, Astounding, Perhaps even, A trifle Frightening. The set showcasing... CLOTHES, almost outshined exactly what it was supposed to elevate! The Collaborator (The Art) Became as important and to some degree, MORE Important than the clothes. Lagerfeld Provocatively jabbed the Agog onlookers after the show by having Red Dots attached to some of the pieces as if in a Gallery signifying that some pieces had been sold and then Impishly announcing that none of it was for sale. AT ANY PRICE! (Rumour had it that some people were offering 6 digits and upwards for the pieces, which Lagerfeld Diabolically shut down by telling anyone in earshot that the pieces were not for sale!)

The small detail that has been left out so far in this examination is that Karl, HIMSELF, Created all... Ahem... ALL, 75 Pieces of art in the Show. He Sketched, Modelled, Detailed and such all the pieces on Paper or in Miniature and then had the pieces executed, Jeff Koons Style, But all of it was a product of Lagerfeld's Febrile and Agile Mind! Astonishing when one realizes that he also concepted 89 Exits of clothes also! The Mind boggles at how Lagerfeld kept it all together to produce a Stage Set and Clothing Collection that in Breadth and Magnitude were equals in Amazement! 

What about those clothes... Well, as if he ever could, Lagerfeld certainly did not disappoint on that level either in one of his most Limber exercises of Creation for the House of Chanel, His Sartorial Gymnastics were as spot on as ever! There was So, SO Very Much to Gape at in Awe, Amusement, Bemusement and sometimes just good Old-Fashioned Joy! Much of the collection benefited from Lagerfeld's flawless hand in Couture, Numerous pieces were executed with such slavish attention to detail that to even a trained eye, they could pass for Haute Couture Pieces. Now, Lagerfeld would be the first to argue against that point, but he'd simply be being modest. 

The Problem here lies in the fact that there is simply WAY too Much to properly contextualize in a few cursory words. The Depth of the Creation here extends from the Shoes up to the Make-Up and Hair and All in between! Yes, there are standout pieces and some pieces that were simply Breath-Catching, But to properly analyze the collection could take Days, and Reams of Type!

Firstly, Lagerfeld had a feeling for the Tweed Dress to open the collection. With Drop Hip and slim lines the Tweed Day dresses were as easy to wear as they were Chic! This opening Section essentially stood in place of the Tweed Suits that are the house Stock-In-Trade, even though there were a few Tweed Suits Proper, these were Effective Replacements. After this preamble, keeping up with all the ideas being spun out with the intricacy of a spider's web was a dizzying and giddy affair. From Jackets that consisted of Necklines and sleeves but no fronts, to chunky oversized knits that were as weightless as they were colourful!

Fraying Fringed Gauze Tweeds, Embroidered Tweeds, Camellia Jacquard Tweeds, It went on and on and on from one Magnificent extreme to the next! This is one of those cases that trying to pick out individual outfits to highlight would leave one weary and bleary-eyed from all the outfits that could be mentioned. One could go into detail about each and every exit with aplomb and still be ready to comment on more!

The most Decisive moment of Art-Meets-Fashion was one of the final passages that fooled all whom looked at them with deceptive naivety and simplicity, the Pantone Colour Paint Card prints that dominated the latter third of the show. Deceptive for the reason that they were curiously Gay and Carefree and Exuberant, but upon inspection one realized that there were DOZENS of Colours printed on these fabrics and the process of printing that many colours on one skein of fabric, Daunting to say the utter least, HORRENDOUSLY Difficult and Expensive to be most apt! This section reached it's apotheosis on Lindsay Wixson wearing a ballooning dress with bat-wing like cape attached to the dress... Fully Stunning!

In the World of Chanel, one cannot forget to mention the accessories. Giant Pearl "Earphone" Necklaces, Huge Pearl Bracelets, Spectator "Chanel" Pumps with Socks attached, Graffiti covered Backpacks... It was a Fantasmagoria of Delights! Karl kept not only the Pulse of the house racing with such Extreme Acrobatics of Design and Concept and Execution that the audiences Pulse was keeping up the beat with Excitement and Anticipation of what new trick the Kaiser would send sashaying down the runway, and never once being let down by any confection being shown. Moreover, all these confections were firmly rooted in the contemporary, the Now. all could be worn with ease and not look costumey or uniform. That's Lagerfeld's Genius, His Mastery, His GIFT. He Shows even as he has been doing this longer than many designers have been ALIVE and at that is as much salient at Chanel as at large (owing that he is going into his 32nd year at Chanel!) that he is completely in touch with the Modern woman and how she wants to dress but also that she doesn't want Anodyne or boring clothes.

In the Annals of Chanel History, this is one of those shows that will be referenced for Many, Many years from now and those who were there can only recount to the jealousy of those of us who were not, what a Diabolical moment of Fashion Magic this collection was to be a part of. It's going to be hard for Lagerfeld to top this collection for Content and Presentation. Hard, But because it IS Karl Lagerfeld... Not Impossible.

That's All.


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