Monday, 28 September 2009

Who Called It?

Editor's Note: This article was originally written in late May for the Chanel Resort 2010 collection. However, due to technological problems and general laziness, it remained sad and forlorn on my hard drive. Alberta Feretti's Spring 2010 collection reminded me that I still had this article, and no, I was not crazy because Edwardian is totally becoming a trend so hah! Hope you enjoy this article--better late than never!

Earlier this week, I wrote a post commenting on certain Edwardian predilections at the White House Press Correspondents dinner (with a heaping does of eye candy, of course). With the release of photos from Chanel’s Resort 2010 show, it’s official: Edwardian is in style!

I’m pretty sure that Kaiser Karl was receiving my brainwaves while I was asleep because I swear this collection was made for me. It combines all of the prettiest things in the history of ever: Venice, Renaissance clothing, Edwardian clothing, and the 30s cafĂ© scene.

According to Lagerfeld, the collection is based on Chanel’s time in Venice, where she summered throughout the 1930s. The collection draws inspiration from Venice’s past, from Baroque masqueraders to Titian’s sitters. The collection includes other elements too, such as outfits inspired by gondoliers, and a dress clearly meant to evoke Fortuny, the early-20th century anti-fashion designer who famously based his creations around Venetian Renaissance dress. The collection is dominated by white, black, red, and gold—Venice’s city colors. Most of the models wear red tights and short frocks, evocative of the dress of the city’s nobility in the Renaissance.

But the most interesting thing of all is the Edwardian influence in the collection. From the opening dress to the stunning evening gowns, the draped cloth, empire waistline, and sensible shoes recall nothing more than Chanel’s rival, Paul Poiret. Poiret’s style was very feminine, colorful and ornate. When Chanel started designing in 1920, her goal was to move away from that ideal and celebrate the new, slender athletic woman. (Allegedly, when Poiret once saw Chanel in her usual black, he asked her, “Madame, for whom are you mourning?” She replied, “For you, monsieur.”)

This resort collection has the clear, straight lines that the house is famous for, but embraces the fantasy and fun of all that she rejected. My favorite piece, a white lace shift with ersatz draping, reminds me of the best of Alfons Mucha. It’s curious to me that in this collection Lagerfeld so willingly embraces everything that Chanel rejected. But I don’t care: this past decade has been a Magical Mystery Tour of the 20th century. We might as well take a pit stop in the 1910s while we can. Empire waist, Asian prints and Louis XIV heels, here I come!

No comments:

Post a Comment