No one can deny Lagerfeld's genius at reinventing Chanel suits-and Chanel's style aesthetic over & over, season after season. Taking tartans last season in his Pre-Fall Métiers d'Art staged in Edinburgh at Linlithgow Castle -putting his Chanel wit to it-and this week he fashioned lederhosen & the dirndl into Chanel at the Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg (familiar to The Sound of Music aficionados).
As a silken thread-or in this case-wool, to his full blown Austrian fantasy, Madame Chanel was inspired by the jacket worn by a Schloss Leopoldskron lift operator to create her signature little black jacket.
all her photographs are at Vogue.com here
There are gorgeous photographs & first hand reviews on all the websites-Vogue , style.com, etc. etc., and this collection is indeed gorgeous.
What strikes me-it's so identifiable, and that- in an age of fashion's experimentation with digital printing (often more misses than hits), Lagerfeld brings a reality to his Austrian Fantasy. Traditional clothes with beautiful details-feathers, embroidery, lace-all look fresh-and beautiful, a word often applied to clothes, yet sadly lacking in those seen today.
The Collection is all "gift wrapped." Lagerfeld's way of getting the full breadth of his collection across-a film, a setting, a stage, a story. While his short film featuring Cara Delevingne didn't quite work, Delevinge is a star. As Sisi, Austria's style Queen c. 1860, Delevingne waltzes around in a Sisi crinoline dress that echos the empress's famous Winterhalter portraits.
Empress Elisabeth of Austria, by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1865
found at Mademoiselle Delevingne's instagram account
Whatever your penchant for fashion, this little treasure (the ear muff) -practical, and so so whimsical, encapsulates Karl Lagerfeld's magical agility in putting one prettily shod foot into a Winterhalter portrait past-and the other squarely in the modern day world of instagram future:
I can't think of a better way to celebrate (other than ordering one of these jackets) than watching some Movies that will whisk you away to Austria this weekend:
Visconti's LUDWIG, with Romy Schneider as SISI, 1972.
or Ernst Marischka's SISI, 1955, again with Romy Schneider as SISI.
& then there is always The Sound of Music, 1965, or Heidi, 1968.
In all these movies there are shades of Chanel's Austria- loden, military stripes, lace, and braids-but no black leather anywhere in sight.
It's the jeweled black leather in this collection along with its feathered fedoras, plaited ear muffs, and thigh high suede boots that make Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel Métiers d'Art Collection a costume drama all its own.
I'd star in any of them.