Chanel Couture Spring 2009 collection was one that was started with a piece of white paper, a pair of scissors and Karl Lagerfeld. Lagerfeld wanted to clean house and decided that he “wanted everything graphic itself, no bling-bling”. What we got was a beautiful collection in predominantly white, save for a few smatterings of black.
In the wrong hands, this could have potentially been monotonous and dull, but it was actually really fresh, clean and utterly beautiful. Every texture seemed to be alive, miniscule details sang to be be noticed.
Gently squared shoulders, often in cropped capelets/jackets were paired with a-line dresses and skirts or slim pants. Miniscule sequins dotted garments often creating stripes or gradations that were sometimes white on white but often in contrast for a sporty historic Chanel vibe. The classic Chanel Braid trim was trimmed down and sleek. Applique, sequins and feathers added dimension and depth.
The only print was a warp print rose silhouette. The graphic tears were actually seed beads sewn to form a pattern rather than a print.
Also spectacular were the paper hair ornaments/flowers that were crafted by Japanese hair genius Katsuya Kamo and a team of several people working in the Chanel Atelier while staring at images of 18th Century Porcelain. The results are nothing less than art.
Overall, I loved the clean freshness of the collection, very classically Chanel, but very new at the same time. The toning down of bling had fantastic textural results that were simply visually stunning. In this economy many people are down against the elitist nature of couture, but when times are tough beauty and inspiration are important and Karl Lagerfeld with this collection just proved his cause for couture.