Monday, December 14, 2009

Chanel's Far Eastern fantasy barges into Shanghai

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Chanel's Far Eastern fantasy barges into Shanghai

Karl Lagerfeld left China's fashionistas awestruck by showing his latest collection of haute couture on the Huangpu River earlier this month, with the city's legendary skyscrapers serving as a backdrop to his Paris-Shanghai Metier D'Arts Collection.

"Shanghai has a special reputation that sets it apart from other Chinese cities," said the Paris-based German designer, who serves as the creative director at Chanel. "My interest in the city (was piqued) by both its past and its present."

The 8th annual edition of his special line dedicated to seven exclusive Paris-based metals and embroidery ateliers - which Channel purchased in 2002 - was presented exclusively in Shanghai with a tribute film to Coco Chanel, the mastermind behind the French brand.

Written and directed by Lagerfeld, a.k.a. The Kaiser, "Paris Shanghai, a fantasy" depicted the tale of Coco's imaginary voyage to China, bringing the tableau to life along an 85-m-long barge on Shanghai's central waterway.

The screening was followed by a show featuring over 30 models, with Lagerfeld's own cosmopolitan Terracotta Army of human clothes horses capturing the spirit of Hollywood heroines, the urban romanticism of Chinese cinema, and the grandeur of the city's 1930s heyday.

In modes of jet black, fiery red, midnight blue and khaki, wafer-thin models fashioned high-collared suits, richly embroidered fitted coats, knitwear with raised patterns, tunics and sequined gowns highlighting their slender shoulders and slim waistlines.

Long, striking earrings and large printed hats framed their faces while sexy leather heels with aged-cork soles and thigh-reaching boots added a sense of edginess.

His signature trademarks were illustrated by the models' dark sunglasses and sleek ponytails.

Amid all the hard work, Lagerfeld still found time to lighten the mood, at one point during the preceding press-conference even mock-apologizing for the absence of the world's two most historic fashion icons: Mao Zedong's jacket and Coco Chanel's coat

Nonetheless, Chinese undertones are woven into his popular French-style romantic pieces.

Lagerfeld said he was greatly influenced by the country's distant past, especially the striking colors of Chinese red and imperial yellow, as well as by its traditional music.

"I have seen some ancient (Chinese) clothes from more than 2,000 years ago, and they still look modern today," he said.

taken from : China Daily

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