Chanel RTW Spring 2009
“Our house in the middle of our street,” the soundtrack repeated over and over. A humble abode it’s not. But then, modesty must be tough to summon when the maison in question is 31 rue Cambon, a good bet to be the last bastion of luxury standing should the economy as we know it (or used to know it, two or three weeks ago), continue to implode around us.
The house is so lovely, in fact, that Karl Lagerfeld apparently isn’t satisfied with just one, and so had its façade recreated inside the Grand Palais as the set for the glorious Chanel show he presented on Friday morning. That glory radiated in the admirable audacity of the faux limestone abode, in the event’s festive mood and most importantly, in its fabulous fashion. This was Lagerfeld at his savvy best, on one hand lavishing the clothes with ample decoration as if heralding that tough times aside, his ladies have nothing to worry about, while on the other hand celebrating the dressed-up end of his Chanel range, no kooky kid stuff to confuse those ladies should they start to feel skittish. And he still infused the lineup with youthful charm, pinned largely on liberal doses of pink. Suits came in every conceivable variation: with jackets long and lean, full and swingy or cropped into tiny boleros. Dresses ranged from a classic shift to short, saucy knit numbers, and Lagerfeld gave a nod or two to the sportswear set with racy black pants looks. As for the tweeds du jour, they came both traditional and delightfully twisted, the latter in delicate woven tulle ribbon and squiggled with rubber. Evening arrived on a cloud of hazy blue chiffon here, a bower of silvery pink camellias there, their froth so carefree one might think Lagerfeld’s house immune form the woes of the world. Which of course, it’s not. But it’s as close as it gets.