Tuesday, January 13, 2009

When Karl Stops Being Polite, And Starts Getting Real!

Ok, in all honesty I don't know if Karl Lagerfeld could ever have been described as the "polite" type, but a few years back he put himself in the reality television fish bowl. He let cameras into the Chanel operation to witness the creation of a collection from sketch to finish. So, screw the The Real World: Brooklyn and its tired, rehashed plot lines and watch friggin' incredible seamstresses whip up perfect couture on ever-present deadlines under Karl's exacting supervision. It is all much more fun than another go in the hot tub with some token twentysomethings. There were five episodes of Signe Chanel, and they are all available on YouTube. Here's the first part of the first episode, "Anticipation."

Each of the episodes are in four parts. Start with one and I think you will be hooked, just like I am. My favorite part is that the show, at least in the beginning, focuses mostly on the seamstresses. They are wonderful. Real women, with real talent. They are a demographic you never see in today's hyper-ageist, oversexified "reality" programming. And, better yet, they are the bread and butter of the whole super-chic operation. Watching them translate Karl's off the cuff sketches into full-fledged designs is fascinating. I call for a Chanel Channel starring them 24/7. I love them.

Ed. Note: Do yourself a favor and do not miss episode 3, "Rituals." You haven't lived until you've seen a 75 year-old woman making braid by hand on a loom she built herself in 1947.

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