Low-cost Lagerfeld hits the rails
DUBLIN store BT2 has pulled off an international fashion coup by becoming the first in the world to sell KARL, the new diffusion label from Karl Lagerfeld.
Launched online to shoppers two weeks ago, the new 'affordable' collection from the German-born designer arrives into the Grafton Street store on March 8 with prices starting at €49, a far cry from the four and five-figure sums he commands for his catwalk looks.
Mr Lagerfeld, who is the creative director at Chanel -- describes his latest fashion venture as "masstige" -- a cross between mass market and prestige -- and wallet-pleasing attractions include €49 fingerless leather gloves, one of the designer's trademark accessories that he is rarely seen without.
"Chanel is me doing Chanel, Fendi is me doing Italy and this is me doing me, whatever that means," the designer told 'Vogue' magazine.
The couturier's design signature is evident across the graphic, monochromatic collection, which explores textures and silhouettes in cream, black, silver and grey.
While the designer piloted his spring 2012 couture show last month with a flight of fancy onboard an aeroplane setting in Paris, everyone's feet were very much on the ground yesterday when BT2 showcased four of his KARL looks, with everyone's eyes avidly on the price and finish.
Mr Lagerfeld's own signature dressing style is the big, strong-collared shirt, which he has interpreted for his high-street customer with metallic, leather, stand-alone shirt collars (€130), a novel alternative to necklaces.
The sharp-shouldered, double-breasted, metallic-flecked twill jacket (€350) works well over softer separates like the button-down-collar shirt (€130) and sequinned shorts (€200).
The most expensive KARL piece is the rock-chic luxe look of leather biker jacket (€1,000) worn here with €70 tee and a metallic, leather skirt (€330) with interesting V hemline.
BT2, the little sister to Brown Thomas, has clearly evolved from a student destination to a more sophisticated fashion offering, which appeals to two generations.
Reiss is new to the store and the Italian label MSGM delivers chic, lace, patchwork separates and colour pops in ankle-grazing skinnies and print tops.
Victoria Beckham proves her winning ways with useful silky tees, while the French label Maje has the perfect solution for the bored, trouser-suited executive: a peach two-piece worn with metallic vest and accessorised with tan bag and shoes.
The architectural qualities of the COS and Raoul brands excel this summer and Joanne Hynes's collars provide a welcome touch of Irish glamour.