Category Archives: Karl Lagerfeld

Fashion Frenzy? Chanel, Valentino, Lagerfeld – What to say…

Another fabulous commentary by Jeffrey B Felner on what is the highlight of the Fashion world’s calendar – the Paris Fashion Show.

Haute Couture is the creme de la creme of fashion, but this season we see that even the grandest master of the couture..KARL LAGERFELD…can produce a clunker of a collection and that hiring new designers is not always the answer to the rejeuvenation of a revered brand as in the case of VALENTINO

As a rule, by this time, I am in some rapturous state while taking in the Couture Collections.  Unfortunately, there is no rapture here but more disbelief as to how can these revered brands produce collections that are searching for new clientele rather than catering to their stalwart devotees.  Oh and, by the way, the collections left me slack jawed and wondering why and how did this happen.

Chanel Paris Fashion 2010

Chanel Paris Fashion 2010

 CHANEL/ KARL LAGERFELD produced the spectacle that one has come to expect but the collection did not exactly live up to the amazing stage set. 

Chanel Paris Fashion 2010

Chanel

Mr. Lagerfeld can produce the most wildly exciting, awe inspiring collections for CHANEL but this season he produced a highly difficult, cumbersome and much more matronly collection which I do not believe will resonate with his fans. 

Chanel Paris Fashion 2010

Chanel

The silhouettes, the lengths, the palette, the oddity of it all seemed to contradict what Lagerfeld has been building for years. 

Chanel Paris Fashion 2010

Chanel

Season after season, whether it be Couture or RTW, one was always  amazed by the clothes, the inventiveness, the accessories(bags, shoes, jewelry) and none of that happened except for the fabulous bracelets.  I will admit to one exception………….the pearl dress.  How can one not marvel at that???

Chanel Paris Fashion 2010

Chanel

Chanel Paris Fashion 2010

Chanel

Valentino Paris Fashion 2010

Valentino Paris Fashion 2010

Valentino Paris Fashion 2010

Valentino

Valentino Paris Fashion 2010

Valentino

Valentino Paris Fashion 2010

Valentino

 VALENTINO the brand, has been retooling since the departure of its beloved namesake, has once again provided us with a collection that begs the question…….”WHY?”

I get the impression that the new designers believe that if they use red fabric and toss a few bows around the garments that they have achieved a Valentino look ……….not!!!!!  These clothes are for some unknown client with some unknown occasion to attend and with an untold amount of money to spend on these truly unattractive clothes.  It seems that the house of Valentino is devolving while searching for the new couture client and they have flagrantly discarded the loyal ladies who made the house a staple of the Haute Couture.

It is always difficult for me to not rave about these collections which is why I urge you to review them at Style.com and keep up with me Jeffrey at  http://jeffybruce.blogspot.com/

Christian, Yves and Karl – Who’s that?

 This is the perfect book to take you through how new designers became the most famous international designers that we have ever known.   They are the precursors of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano and paved the way for so many designers and brands of the 21st century.

 

The Beautiful Fall by Alicia Drake   – Little, Brown and Company, September 2006

 

The Beautiful Fall has been classified “pop culture” but it is more much a chronicle of the parallel lives of two of the most famous designers of the 20th and 21st centuries.

 From the moment Yves St Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld stepped onto a stage together in 1954, the die was cast on the enduring and everlasting careers of these two designers.  On that

The Beautiful Fall by Alicia Drake Reviewed on SHI Symbol International Blog

The Beautiful Fall by Alicia Drake

day in 1954 they were competing in a contest named the “International Wool Secretariat.”  Yves was eighteen and Karl three years his senior and they were chosen from over three thousand applicants.

 At the beginning of their careers, they were friendly and often spent time together, but no one could have guessed the divergent as well as parallel paths that these men would embark on for over 50 years.  Yves was the more introverted of the two, given to moods and inner demons, where Karl was the German spitfire who spoke rapidly and sketched constantly.

 The two men were polar opposites when it came to how they saw their work.  Both were extremely talented from the very beginning, but Yves was more directional and evolving while Karl was of the moment: the newest, the latest, the greatest—each and every season.  Yves would labor over the sleeve placement season after season where Karl would be deciding if it should be set in or raglan.  Yves was the perfectionist of his art and Karl the revolutionary of his art.

 One of the turning points in Mr. St. Laurent’s early life was his appointment to be the successor of Christian Dior after Mr. Dior’s death in 1958; no one would have guessed the trajectory of this uber talented yet shy designer.

 Karl was never offered such an appointment and wasn’t really interested in perpetuating a look/name such as this.  At this time, one more famous than the other, but both as charismatic as the other, had begun to form their own little cliques of followers.  Yves not only found a few core admirers—who would remain with him till death—but he also found his future business partner and life partner (Pierre Berge).  Karl’s entourage was like his design philosophy: more of the moment, his attention span was never the same nor were his needs.

The Beautiful Fall

The Beautiful Fall

Ms. Drake takes us into the groups, into the mindsets of these famous designers and into the needs that each of these groups satisfied for each designer.  She has also given some enduring visuals as to how these men portrayed themselves from the 1950s through the new millennium.  She was allowed almost total access to Mr. St Laurent and associates, while Mr. Lagerfeld was far more guarded—as he remains to this day.

The Beautiful Fall

The Beautiful Fall

The 50-year span of their love/hate relationship is chronicled for our examination and analysis by this insightful writer who has definitely

The Beautiful Fall

The Beautiful Fall

placed her allegiances with the St. Laurent camp.  She, however, reports rather than opines about them and lets their confidantes do that for her.  The book is a must-read for those with any curiosity about the fashion business, Paris during that time span, or the egos of such great designers.  Ms. Drake also provides us with the lingering insecurities that most would never imagine in such great figures, ones that have remained with them all their lives.

 Ms. Drake currently resides overseas and contributes to various fashion and lifestyle publications.

Once again, this wonderful Book Review has been brought to you by the very talented fashion guru Jeffrey B Felner.

The Allure of Chanel by Paul Morand, lllustrations by Karl Lagerfeld

(Pushkin Press, April 2010)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend a weekend with Coco Chanel? Just the two of you engaged in an extended conversation, which is really her recounting some of her most memorable times of her youth and later life?

The Allure of Chanel by Paul Morand

The Allure of Chanel by Paul Morand

There have been many words and hours devoted to the life of Coco Chanel, a few movies, and even a few television movies and specials, but none is as intimate as this story of her life through 1938 or so. The beauty of this book is that these are her words, her version of her life as told to one of her dear friends and also the author of this particular book. The book has been translated and redacted from original conversations between Mademoiselle Chanel and Mr. Durand. The entire manuscript was discovered upon Mr. Durand’s death in 1975.
Not only does this format engage you, but its words also cause you to laugh out loud at the very words that she uttered to describe herself, her acumen as a designer, her business, her lovers, and her philosophy of life. She was an original in so many ways and so very modern—yet so very provincial in many of her beliefs. “I am never satisfied with myself, so why should I be satisfied with others?” or “I judge people according to the what they spend.” or “the only thing I like spending is my strength.” On fashion, “expensive jewelry does not improve the woman who wears it . . . if she is plain she shall remain plain.”
Anyone who has a curiosity about fashion and the minds of those who create should read the story of Mademoiselle Chanel with great care and a very open mind as she is a voice which is heard to this day in the world of fashion and a voice that should actually be listened to more carefully in these modern times. I had no idea that she was so full of “bon mots” and so free with her very rigid philosophies regarding all segments of life.

From all other accounts of her life, she is always portrayed as the lonely, if not slightly bitter, workaholic, when in fact she was quite sanguine about her work, her life, her homes, her lovers, and just about anything you can think of. She was simply never at a loss for an opinion.
Lastly one must take note that the current designer for Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, has illustrated the book with the same chic and élan as is echoed in the fashion of Chanel. There is a reason that the house still exists, and I do believe that Mr. Lagerfeld has allowed himself to become one with Coco—a fact that would certainly have agreed with her as she stated: “I only like what I create, and I only create if I forget.”  

FASHION BY THE RULES  will be presenting book reviews that are tailored to the SHI Symbol members who are either interested in the trends of fashion or the history of fashion.  We hope that they will inspire you or transport you into this world.  

Jeffrey B. Felner

 
http://www.oligoville.com/category/fashion/fashion-by-the-rules/
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