CHANEL: C’est magnifique! Quite simply, it took your breath away.
When Karl Lagerfeld is on for couture, his collections deliver a very specific kind of magic — the magic of perfected reality. The collection he showed on Tuesday radiated just that, from start to finish. It was remarkable in a number of ways — its breathtaking beauty, its powerful restraint and its sexual drama, no less potent for its subtlety. But then, the collection was about contrasts. "Serenity and frivolity, vice and virtue, sacred and profane," Lagerfeld wrote in his program notes. He knows that, with a nip here and a tuck there, a nun’s habit suits a French maid. And he knows that, with a dazzling vision and impeccable execution, the same clothes can dazzle client and press alike.
Lagerfeld showed in Chanel’s couture salons, a setting that delivers a retro sensibility marked by comfort and calm the way it must have been back when. While there’s a danger in reading too much into a single location—in the past, Karl has flaunted his haute wares in a crumbling boys’ school, a tent in the Tuilieries and the riding ring at the Bois de Boulogne—the venue matched the message: one of refinement, breeding, and proper manners, at least on the surface. It all started with— guess what?— the suit. As far as Karl is concerned, it’s the best way to go right now, and he made one heck of an argument while playing to that serene and frivolous dichotomy. His key look: a small jacket and flared skirt worn over layers of tulle or lace with fanciful beaded frills. These came out one stunner after another, the delectable variations distinguished by fur trim; capelet jacket; crisp, monastic collar. Karl also translated the idea to coats over dresses. One, a fabulously simple beige wool, came off to reveal a black lace dress that dipped to there in back, just one of many killer evening looks. Another: the smoking in black crepe with an exaggerated white tuxedo bib. Of course, Karl wove in the occasional digression —the divinely pleated silk shirtdress, the elaborately embroidered pants. And it all held together without a moment’s confusion.As for Lagerfeld’s favorite effect, the underpinning with frothy, bejeweled hemline is a motif he launched last spring in a light-as-air collection. Here he carried it further, turning otherwise austere looks in sober black, navy or tweeds intriguingly celebratory. One could sense that, while this woman loves being covered up and done up — she wears her hair piled haute high, giant baubles on thumb and pinky finger and elaborately jeweled anklets over sparkly fishnet hose — she also loves shedding her clothes quickly in the throes of passion, with the right person to release the mile of tiny pearl buttons down her back.
Of course, passion takes different forms. In her front-row seat, Donna Karan could barely contain herself. As the clock ticked, she suggested to the nondesigners around her possible reasons for Karl’s late start. Once the show began, she turned euphoric, gasping, oohing, ahhing and elbowing those to her right and left when a detail caught her fancy. "Now this, this is couture," she said. "God bless couture." If God finds a slow moment in this messy world —perhaps."
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)