In his couture collection, Karl said that he wanted to "start with a clean sheet of paper". "We are entering a phase of reality fashion." he added, "This is right. This is exactly what Chanel did; she wore the clothes she designed. We talk about the financial crisis, but it is also healthy. People who have been making 20% increase, year after year, and then are not making 20% any more, they are not poor. So don't cry for them. We have got into bad habits and it is not a bad thing to have a new starting point." Strong words from a man once called the 'king of excess'.
Surrounding his catwalk with a simple, virginal white, one of Coco Chanel's favourite colours, Largerfeld set the mood for a fresh start for the fashion year, adding to the simplistic vibe of his catwalk with the beautiful simplicity of flowers, camellias and roses. Celebrity guests, including face of Chanel's Mademoiselle fragrance, Keira Knightly, were seated around small tables adorned with laser cut, paper table cloths, reminiscent of the cut out design dresses seen at Fendi this season.
Lagerfelt kept his couture catwalk look simplistic and classic, with his models clad in a sea of white, occasionally punctuated by black accessories or the occasional all black outfit. He stuck to the classic, understated and structured designs that Chanel is so famous for, adding a recession twist to some of Chanel's iconic outfits. The two piece suit jacket was shrunken to add definition to a minimalistic dress or skirt, while Chanel tweed was transplanted from cardigans to dresses, one of the few 'frivolous' prints used by Lagerfeld in this collection. Instead of jewellery, each model was adorned with paper flowers and feathers, capes and headdresses, the handiwork of Japanese hair stylist, Kamo, whose work provided a counterpoint to Lagerfeld's classic designs, and showed off the beauty of simple things to perfection.
While I think that Karl's pro fur 'the beasts would kill us' views are unfounded and ridiculous, there's no doubt that there's something very special in the simplistic, staid elegance of this collection. Once again, Karl has reminded us what couture is really about, he gets massive Clothes Before Hoes love.