Our first stop was Grand Palais for the Chanel show when we arrived into a gigantic white-walled hangar of paintings and sculptures—quintessential Basel or Frieze—all seventy-five of them made by Lagerfeld during his Summer of Prodigious Creativity. He didn't actually make them himself—that feat would be too Olympian even for Karl—but he drew the pieces or made maquettes so his studio could realize the finished product. Just like Jeff Koons. And, as with Koons, Karl's reference points were identifiable, though he cleverly twisted them so they each included some element of Chanel: a camellia, a pearl, a bottle of No. 5. Some of them had red dots beside their titles, like they'd already been sold. Postshow, he wearily insisted he had no intention of doing any such thing; he'd already been asked a thousand times, just like he'd been asked to sign the whole lot.
In an age in which the fashion world embraces art, and art embraces fashion, the question posed at the vibrant Chanel show might not be “Is fashion art?” but “Is art fashion?” Practically alone amongst his fashion titan colleagues,Karl Lagerfeld, however, claims that he does not collect contemporary art. “I’m collecting books,” he explained crisply. “I have no space for art.”
89 looks to choose from, Karl gave his voracious Chanel shopper plenty of options, and touched on many of the key seasonal trends, from layers of translucency to the bare-shoulder evening dress, from subtly gleaming metallics to thick cotton lace (used as midriff inserts on sleek little dresses), and from the narrow mid-calf pencil skirt (split on both sides for ease of movement in the summer heat) to fluttering, dressy shorts.
What did you think of it?
Stay tuned more photos of the Valentino show to follow!
Lots of love,