Jan 22, 2008
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Lagerfeld pays tribute to Chanel classic jacket

Jan 22, 2008

PARIS, Jan 22, 2008 (AFP) - Karl Lagerfeld gave pride of place to the iconic Chanel cardigan jacket at his haute couture collection for next summer for the house, unveiled in Paris' spacious Grand Palais exhibition hall on Tuesday January 22th.

A giant mock-up sculpture of a jacket, complete with the entertwined "C" logo, dominated the podium and revolved to let the models out onto the runway in Lagerfeld's latest take on the timeless classic.

The silhouette of the 2008 vintage Chanel couture jacket is long-line, closely fitted to the body and nipped into the waist and fastened with the house signature buttons. Shoulders are slightly rounded and the collar set back to bare plenty of neckline and sleeves are three-quarter length, finishing in cuffs just below the elbow.

His favourite pairing was with short, gently draped tulip-shaped skirts, with the petals parting mid-thigh, often in slippery satin. Alternatively he showed a box-pleated mini with a hem like a puffball and cropped breeches.

Natty short coats were buttoned on the diagonal or had diagonal back vents.

And in a welcome change from teetering heels, he shod models in flat pumps with the house camelia on the toe.

For day, the new jacket came in black and white checks and flecked tweeds with lashings of passementerie trim. To turn on the glamour for cocktails, he dressed up the suits with big ruffled white satin blouses with dickeys bristling with semi-precious stones.

Evening frocks were frothy confections, all layers of ruffles, waffling and ruching in sugar pink, apricot and baby blue overlaid with cream or like sculptures in multi-tiered liquid metal sequins.

Former supermodel Claudi Schiffer applauded from her front-row seat, not far from British veteran singer Marianne Faithfull and film-maker Sofia Coppola.

In contrast to all the glitz of a Chanel show, Martin Margiela's couture collection could be visited in a ramshackle building in a rundown district of Paris.

Margiela's creations are the last word in ecological correctness: they are all painstakingly assembled by hand, for the most part from recycled or scavenged material, vintage clothes, old buttons, even discarded umbrellas and footballs.

Four brollies were turned into a men's jacket, with the spokes retained as part of the styling and velcro fasteners used for the cuffs, while the deflated footballs were taken apart and stitched onto leather for a blouson.

A women's top was fashioned from dozens of tiny mirrors mounted on papier mache covered in leather to look like the giant sparkling balls seen hanging over disco floors.

An extra large T-shirt was cut and handknotted like macrame to take it down several sizes on one side, while another women's jacket was woven entirely from different widths of elastic without using any sewing at all.

A vintage man's dress shirt had an "eye" motif emblazoned across the chest entirely worked from old buttons, matt and shiny, while the buttons on the front of a white silk chiffon dress were sewn on to look like an open mouth.

Each piece takes three to four days to make and because recycled materials are used, no item every comes out exactly the same. They really are one-offs.

by Sarah Shard

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