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La Chanelphile

July 10, 2010

Chanel 2010-2011 Fall/Winter Haute Couture Review

The Chanel Fall/Winter 2010-2011 Haute Couture show at the Grand Palais was a grand spectacle complete with a forty-foot lion.  But even the lioness could not outshine the clothing and accessories that Uncle Karl designed.

The overall silhouette was a play on layers, length and shoulders.  Strong shoulders have been popular for a few seasons now, but the Chanel strong shoulder was different.  It’s very soft and round, but strong in the sense that it is exaggerated.  Almost all of the looks had the rounded, sculptural shoulder paired with a 3/4 length sleeve.  The looks that didn’t have the rounded shoulder were sleeveless and the models’ bare shoulders were reminiscent of the roundness of the sleeved jackets.

Lagerfeld also played with length in this collection.  From 3/4 sleeve jackets, to long blouses paired with cropped jackets, to-the-knee skirts and dresses to calf-length dresses and skirts.  Most of the hemlines were on the short side – even the formal dresses.

The color palette is one suited for fall – rich jewel tones like garnet, topaz, and sapphire paired with rich browns, camel and black.  Lush fabrics like warm tweeds paired with luxe fur; brocade fabric with rich beading and embroidery, dresses embellished with strings of pearls.  The overall look is very luxurious and rich – think ladies who lunch.

I must confess, the clothing was not my favorite this season.  I wasn’t a very big fan of the big rounded shoulders.  What stole the show for me was the accessories.  These boots were definitely made for walking – slouchy, ruched, metallic, beaded, and with the iconic black toe cap – every look had an ankle boot to match.

The accessories that had me drooling were the large chunky bangle bracelets – bejeweled with chains hanging and layered – the bracelets were the perfect match for the 3/4 sleeve and sleeveless looks.  Brooches and belt buckles had similar looks with chains dripping from them with lion heads at the center.  A collection certainly made to make you roar!

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July 8, 2010

“I Am Chanel, Hear Me Roar”

Chanel 2010-2011 Fall/Winter Haute Couture

I didn’t think that Karl could outdo a giant glacier as the centerpiece for a runway show – but somehow he did.  On Tuesday, Chanel unveiled its Fall/Winter 2010-2011 Haute Couture show at the Grand Palais in Paris with an “8-ton, 40-foot-tall golden lion, [with] its paw perched on an enormous pearl” serving as the backdrop.  (WWD).

The inspiration for the lion is clear – born on August 19th, Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel was a Leo.  She loved lions and they surfaced everywhere from her apartment decor, buttons and even her gravestone.  The centerpiece for the haute couture runway show is a replica of a marble sculpture from her infamous apartment at 31 Rue Cambon. “Gabrielle Chanel surrounded herself with models of lions in wood, silver, bronze or alabaster…[and t]he lion became a timeless biographical seal on numerous of her creations.” (Chanel News).

Chanel herself, felt a close affinity with lions: “August 19th is my birthday. I was born under the sign of Leo. I am a Leo and, like a lion, I use my claws to prevent people from doing me harm, but, believe me, I suffer more from scratching than from being scratched.”

The lion inspired some of her creations and lion heads were commonly found embossed on the buttons of her iconic tweed suits.

Indeed, Mlle. Chanel’s love for lions are eternal – her gravestone has 5 lion heads carved onto it.

Not only is Karl Lagerfeld an ingenious designer, he truly respects and understands the woman that Coco Chanel was. He stays true to what inspired her and he gives it all a modern twist. Of course, he is one of the few people in the world who has access to her apartments and archives (what I would do to be a fly on the wall!). I hope that his successor will have the same respect for Chanel’s vision.

Chanel 2010-2011 Fall/Winter Haute Couture

Chanel 2010-2011 Fall/Winter Haute Couture

Chanel 2010-2011 Fall/Winter Haute Couture

Image Credits:

Runway show & apartment images: Chanel News

Chanel Button: Chanel: Collections & Creations

Chanel Gravestone: Ballyshannon

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