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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



.

Coal Dust Chanel

Godfrey Deeny
March 08th, 2011 @ 11:45 AM - Paris

In a fall 2011 fashion season of runways drenched in color, leave it to Karl Lagerfeld to stage a coal dust black collection for Chanel, shown among huge lumps of coal, crushed slack and mammoth bursts of steam.

A palette of crimson, teal and turquoise may be ruling Milan and Paris, though not at Chanel, where four-fifths of the collection came in a narrow band stretching from soot to battleship gray.

"It's not black, it's the new gray, with a new anthracite," said Lagerfeld, dressed in haute dandy style in a gray Christian Dior suit, crisp white dress shirt and black silk tie and boots, backstage after the show.

"I felt there had been far too much color around, for several seasons. But look around, most of us dress in black. Huh?" said Lagerfeld, motioning to the two score of editors who had penetrated the polite but heavy backstage security.

The designer did inject small doses of burnished red with boucle woolen jackets and autumnal greens for bolero looks made of sequins. But overall, the mood was almost funereal for evening. Chanel's atelier did wow with some delicate gray leaves on smoky chiffon tops or long delicate lace and fabric flower and feathered columns.

Plus, the opening looks of jackets worn with loose fitting wide pants immediately made for a new Chanel silhouette that will appeal to a younger audience.

By any standards it was a bizarre set - a post-apocalyptic rectangle surrounded by 2,000 coiffed guests, the whole lot oddly dissected by a pristine curving boardwalk.

"It was a combination of modernist architecture and old images of the forest, the sort one sees in silent movies," explained the Chanel designer.

And indeed, on the massive walls were projections of what Lagerfeld intended would be primeval forests, but which the show producer managed to make look more like x-rays of one's teeth.

In case one did not get the sylvan message, it was made clear on the soundtrack; The Cure's '80s classic, "The Forest," itself a murky tune, just like this collection.

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