Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2011 Collection
We can’t help thinking there’s a message here we’re just not getting. For this collection, Lagerfeld took his inspiration from the artist Marie Laurencin; specifically, her portrait of Chanel herself.
The painting is displayed at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris. What’s notable here is that Chanel hated the painting. As per the museum’s site:
“In 1923 Laurencin was working on the costumes and sets for Les Biches (The Does) performed by Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Coco Chanel, who was creating costumes for the same company’s Le Train Bleu at the time, asked the artist to paint her portrait. Laurencin painted Chanel in a languid pose draped in blue and black with one shoulder bare. The fluid lines, subtly shifting colours and the sitter’s dreamy expression are typical of Laurencin’s work, but Chanel – designer of ‘the little black dress’ and the Chanel suit – turned the painting down, saying it did not look like her.”
So why would he take THAT as his inspiration? As for the collection itself, color us REALLY confused. He’s clearly trying to appeal to the young customer, but why on earth would anyone go to an haute couture collection for sensible separates; simple jackets and pants that don’t really fit the haute couture sensibility? We have no doubt these pieces are all constructed impeccably and perhaps there are very fine details that we can’t get with these pictures, but overall, the tone is a little drab and utilitarian. Why are we using those words to describe a CHANEL HAUTE COUTURE collection, darlings? WHY? Some of the pieces have hundreds of thousands of pearls and crystals, but you’re really going to have to pay attention to catch them all. Every time we get ready to take a look at a Chanel Haute Couture collection we inevitably think of the documentary Signé Chanel by Loïc Prigent, which followed the house in the weeks leading up to the runway show and highlighted all those wonderful seamstress with their petites mains and their Olympic-level patience. A shame that this collection doesn’t pay tribute to their efforts the way it should. We understand Lagerfeld’s impulse to redefine haute couture for the 21st Century customer, but it seems to us like this approach is missing the point.
You can see the entire collection (67 looks) here.
[Photo Credit: wireimage, getty, musee-orangerie.fr]