"Dressed to kilt." Get real, how else was Karl Lagerfeld going to define the collection he showed for Chanel outside of Edinburgh tonight? The tweeds, the knits, the cardigans, the man-styled essence of Chanel all came from Scotland and the time that Coco spent there with her lover the Duke of Westminster. But tonight's venue was Linlithgow Palace, where Mary, Queen of Scots, was born almost exactly seven centuries ago, and her tragic life gave Lagerfeld the perfect opportunity to gloss Chanel's easy pragmatism with an element of doomed romance. It was a fantastic combination.
Mary Queen of Scots feel to the sleeves here.
Something of the Edinburgh school girl.
Like Scotland, well-appointed but fun.
My favorite of one of the dreamy, creamy gowns at the end -- for the bride, I suppose.
Cake and ice cream, anyone? My choices from Chanel's 2013 Resort Runway Collection would be right at home at a birthday party on the lawn. The ice cream pastels at left are all froth and frappé. Karl Lagerfeld told Style.com he wanted something floating and frivolous. "Frivolity is a healthy attitude," he said. "I know people who were saved by frivolity."
May as well have been marshmallows: There is lots of pouf and puff in these selections. Each one features a touch of hand-detailing produces bubbly gathers or pompoms.
What else would you wear to a birthday party on the lawns of Versailles? That's where Chanel showed off Resort 2013. These frocks echo the 17th and 18th centuries -- the glory days of the palace.
As certain as the sundial of the Roi Soleil, you know there's always classic Coco Chanel construction in Karl Lagerfeld's collections. These three are my favorites this time. After the Kaiser's tartans, that is.
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Apologies that this is a few weeks after the fact. Against a backdrop of smoldering boulders and brimstone, Karl Lagerfeld presented a dark vision, with glints of the impeccable rich design he always brings. The ensemble above is as weightless as it is deep in vision.
A little of the ingenue in this design, with all the innocence of scallops and all the world-weariness of shadows, gray on gray.
Still innocent with this lovely little coat, though its serious attention to style shows maturity beyond its youth.
No vision at Chanel is ever so dark that there isn't room for a little fun, as with this dress-up whimsy.
Cliché and cleverness aside, this is a terribly sophisticated collection that is as confident as it is dark. Count on the Kaiser. Every friggin' time.
(And speaking of dark vision, the black lace is coming very soon, I promise. Lots of it.)
It's really just part of the everyday magic that is Paris. Some of us try to buy it. Some of us try to fake it. Some of us turn our noses up at it while we secretly wish we had it. But all of us notice it.
It is that effortless sense of style that French women have. The best runway is the streets, and Style.com's Tommy Ton has a regular feature that captures chic on the streets in all the fashion capitals. But of course, you know which one beats them all.
Maybe she is a model. Maybe she is an investment banker. Maybe she is a housewife. Maybe she is a student. But she's got it. And at no time is it on resplendent display like it is during one of the Fashion Weeks in Paris, which Tommy captured in today's Style.com newsletter.
Naturellement, I picked out what I like best from today's slide show. Various versions of classic couture. The prettiest of prêt à porter.
My standard advice when asked what to take to wear when visiting Paris: Whatever makes you happy, because you will feel just a tad shabby no matter what you wear. It's a birthright with French women (men too, really), and try as we might, we just can't capture it. (Though I do have one sister who comes damned close.)
La Poste is an occasional feature of Atelier Chéri where I share a particularly good newsletter item from my email inbox.
Fast forward to spring 2011, as they do during Fashion Week, and consider the prêt à porter collections of Carven and Chanel. I found a decided ingenue look in both, especially Carven. (I rely on style.com's newsletter for my high fashion news; you should too.)
Carven's collection looked like something Madeline would wear when she gets a little older -- wanting to be a grownup but relying on her little Peter Pan collar for a sense of security. The adorable pumps with the bows on the back say it all.
Carven also threw in these wonderful ancient architectural engravings, at left above. I'm not wild about the hankie cut of the skirt at right, but I absolutely adore the black velvet little girl collar. (Admittedly, as a designer of children's couture, I am a sucker for the look.)
At Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld infused classic Chanel into his collection, which relied on kind and gentle smoky colors throughout. Read about the method in this dreamy madness.
Though it is not everywhere, there are flecks of the girlish factor in the collection.
The Kaiser. That's all I need to say. The Kaiser.
Style.com (Vogue’s online platform) delivers a nice newsletter. Just got through looking at the latest one, and it had a treat for Chanel fans like me: commentary and slideshow on the Spring 2010 couture collection.
Karl Lagerfeld served up lots of romantic liquid silver effects along with dashes of pastel. Brings to mind a delicious combination: heavy, old sterling and macarons from Ladurée.
While this collection is great fun, the Spring 2009 couture was epic – all in white, cream and black. Indulge.
(All couture photos from style.com)