Straw on the ground and bunting in the air, Lagerfeld pulled out all of the conceptual stops for Chanel’s 10th Metiers D’Art Show in Dallas this past December. When Lauren Hutton exclaims it was the best show she’s ever seen, well, then, one watches. And if you’re like me, well then, maybe you watched it two, three or four times in a row.
The eleven artisan labels which Chanel partners with for each Metiers show posseses an un-matched expertise in the realms of embroidery, knitwear, millinery, beading, featherwork, lace, and leather.
An exemplary show indicative of the highest level of couture craftsmanship and brand elevation is the result.
Of course, the Chanel jacket was reinterpreted for the west. Shorter and boxier, the proportion became almost swingy and capelike. The hem of the skirt dropped considerably as well, paired with tall color-blocked boots by Massaro.
Also of note were the chunky knits, blanket robes, and ponchos, many in various shades of oxblood, violet, and cream. This being the west, yes there was denim, and it appeared in both a cropped rigid jacket, an over-sized jumper, and a high-waisted jean fitting for any Big Oil Barbie.
And, the hats! From Maison Michel, they were, in a word, jaunty. Cleverly staying away from the all-too expected ten gallon stetson, each was a sort of petite and boxy bowler with just the right amount of lift at the brim.
There were slick black roper boots, tasseled blanket robes, luxe leather toppers, wide-legged woolen trousers and boyish neckerchiefs. For evening there were billowing crepe-de-chine skirts, sunset-colored beaded gowns, and austere fringe blouses. Ultra-lean velvet gowns with plunging backs, elbow-length gloves, and dramatic feathered capes rounded out the super-chic Stevie Nicks look.
Closing, at the end of the show, one of my favorite faces – Caroline de Maigret, who walked last in Lagerfeld’s ethereal ‘bridal’ look.
In addition to the proportions and fabrics, the maquillage of Lagerfelds re-interpreted western aesthetic had me taking furious notes. Hair was left unthought-of and slightly un-kempt, tucked into turtlenecks and wispily falling out of romantic low ponytails — oftentimes finished with an irreverent feather placed at the nape of the neck. Jewelry was layered — pendulously placed atop piles of jabot-front lace and paired with oversize turquoise earrings or substantially-sized bronze and brass cuffs.