Wednesday, January 28, 2009

He Rocks The Paper And Scissors

In couture there is this paper thin line to be walked between spectacle and serenity, between indulgence and restraint, between luxury and elegance. The ability to tread that thread of a line is what separates the brilliant from the rest. It is the same process in any successful artwork: make something beautiful, make it interesting, push some boundaries, and reach a level of newness that creates space and thought. Do it all in a way that makes the finished product look effortless and simple; natural and approachable, yet impeccable.

Karl Lagerfeld's collections for Chanel couture do that. They do that thing that makes even the most classic, time-proven shapes and pieces come alive anew again season after season. In pop culture terms, he keeps a storied house's main lineage visible enough to qualify as timeless, but makes it innovative and fresh enough to slide right onto the backs of the hottest young things in the flashbulb saturated entertainment world. He's got the game down and he manages to draft the most brilliant players onto his team. Aside from his uber-talented seamstresses, for this spin around the fashion wheel Karl worked with Katsuya Kamo, the genius hair and makeup designer who's creations are unparalleled in their power to turn simple materials into beauty.

For his collaboration with Chanel this season, Kamo's team took scissors to paper and snipped, cut, and shaped the simple raw material into blooms, thorns, twists, spikes and poufs of headdresses and set decor. The results are gorgeous and compliment the seamstresses' craftwork completely. Well done.

Photos by Alessandro Lucioni/ Imax Tree (full images), and Mateo Volta/ Imax Tree (details) via


Anonymous said...

The head apparel is stunning. I love how everything Karl does for Chanel is classic without turning into an anachronism.

lisa said...

Great post. Karl Lagerfeld astounds me season after season with what he does for Chanel. I appreciate Chanel for its classic aesthetic and he manages to preserve that aesthetic while pushing the envelope with innovation.