Chanel's tribute to life's rich tapestry
At Chanel, uber-designer Karl Lagerfeld injected his spring-summer 2011 haute-couture collection with a shot of youthfulness, layering hand-embroidered jackets, A-line dresses and miniskirts that glinted with 10 million hand-embroidered beads over skinny jeans.
"This is the way the young women of today dress," Lagerfeld told journalists after yesterday's show as he sipped from an oversized goblet of diet cola.
"It's not like the old days anymore and couture has to be able to change and adapt."
If there's one thing Lagerfeld knows how to do, it's that: the ponytailed designer has spent decades adapting Coco Chanel's iconic looks to the esprit du temps, with consistently fresh and commercial results.
The casual-chic couture had its pulse on the style of today's hot young things so much that it was difficult not to imagine someone like Blake Lively -- the 'Gossip Girl' star and Chanel's newest spokesmodel -- in the classic tweed jackets in pearly pink and swingy dresses with skinny, stonewashed jeans and pointy flats.
The ravishing collection managed to be fresh and street-oriented without compromising the essence of haute couture -- the rarified and astronomically priced made-to-measure lines that showcase the savoir-faire of the labels' craftspeople.
Chanel's embroiderers were in the spotlight as the show ended with jackets, gowns, pants and ankle-length coats made from nude tulle covered, Lagerfeld said, in more than 10 million glinting beads.
Nearly transparent, the looks were so heavily embroidered you could see almost nothing through the shine of the metallic beads.