Chanel’s 2°1° ice-queen

Ice-cube clutch and fur bracelets from Chanel A/W 2010 Collection. Photography: Alize Morand.

Although I didn’t get to go to the Chanel show in Paris, I went to the Press Days at the London Chanel Academy. This year, Karl Lagerfeld had been particularly creative – and daring.

First, he imported an iceberg from Sweden for the guests in Paris, melting during the show, with the models’ beautiful long dresses floating on the surface of the water. Climate change statement, some claim. Pure show parody, others reckon.

Secondly, Karl envisioned us all fur-clad for next season (okay, he wasn’t the only one: see here). But the reason why I highlight this aspect is because the fur used for this collection was, well… fake. It does sound weird, especially coming from a house like Chanel, and one might wonder if the regular customers will spend thousands of pounds on fake fur, but according to Karl, the result is as stunning and the polar bears and foxes kept safe. Who would have thought? Buying a Chanel fur coat – even better a fur bag! – has become a good eco-friendly action.

But back to basics. The actual collection.

What I like best about press views is that you get to see closely, touch, feel the pieces, not just see them styled on a catwalk for a few seconds where the attention-grabbing iceberg and the beauty of Anja Rubik take your eyes away from this gorgeous but, say, hidden dress under a statement jacket.

In that case, as often with the house, the accessories literally stole the show to the clothes, with sumptuous classic pearl stilettos, fur-bracelets, pendants with black stones and of course… THE bags. Fur-lined, quilted, embellished, ice-cube-shaped, all were exquisitely covetable.

As for the clothes, I noticed some exciting show pieces like a tweed jacket with an embedded fur skirt, and many different takes on the classic tweed suit. Yet, eventually, away from the runway, it was the black dresses and simple monochrome tweed jackets that looked the most stunning for their intrinsic craftsmanship rather than irreverent genius.

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