Chanel recalls Le Corbusier in glittering, snow-white and red collection

Tue Jul 8, 2014 11:49am EDT
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By Alexandria Sage

PARIS (Reuters) - Fashion designers and architects are very different animals, but their eye for form and sculpture is the same, which may be why Karl Lagerfeld drew influence from the pioneering architect Le Corbusier for Chanel's Fall/Winter 2014-2015 collection presented on Tuesday.

Of course, being the curious, creative and fearless designer that he is - and the collection being haute couture - he planted Le Corbusier, who died in 1965, at the 18th century court of Versailles for maximum glitter and opulence.

"It's like modern sculpture, in modern materials, but with baroque elements," Lagerfeld said backstage after his show held at the Grand Palais in Paris. "This is the story of Le Corbusier going to Versailles."

Were the sparkling panels adorning the fronts of ivory-colored jackets a nod to the architect's famous Villa Savoye on the outskirts of Paris, with its long panels of windows?

Did the nubby plaids with their repeating patterns of black, orange and red recall the stacked residential housing promoted by the urban planner, whose real name was Charles-Edouard Jenneret, in his search for utopian city design?

No matter what the influence, the clothes entranced, both modern in their sculptural form yet anchored in a time-tested appreciation for pageantry.

The magnificence of the fabrics Lagerfeld chose for the collection's 71 looks - in pure white, shimmering silver and regal red - would certainly have caught Marie Antoinette's eye.

Lagerfeld is a staunch fan of the 18th century - and its high collars - and the tailored, structured mid-thigh coat dresses he presented on Tuesday recalled the men's court suits worn by the well-heeled aristocrats at Versailles.   Continued...

German designer Karl Lagerfeld (L) and model Ashleigh Good appear at the end of his Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015 fashion show for French fashion house Chanel in Paris July 8, 2014. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier