This morning's Chanel couture show in Paris was about more than pants — including denim, sequin, and sheer styles — worn under skirts and with tweed jackets. It was about more than flats and a stunning array of models, including Stella Tennant, who opened, and Kristen McMenamy, who closed in the wedding dress. The Telegraph's Hilary Alexander knows what the force behind those couture jeans was — and it is not of this world. It is magic. And it is complicated.
[T]he magic was down to the unerring accuracy and delicacy with which the Chanel couturier, Karl Lagerfeld, gathers a million and more possible fleeting thoughts and references - before alighting on a theme which he then conjures into a spellbinding collection.
Karl's genius doesn't stop at the way he spins his thoughts into fantastical tweed suits and ballgowns.
The embroidery - he called it "embroidery of light" - glistened like spiders' webs in the morning dew. Small, rounded sleeves caressed the shoulders; seams were detailed with shimmering beads and metallic threads.
Seen up close, the workmanship is astounding. Lagerfeld himself is still marveling, when we meet backstage before today's show.
"How do they have enough patience to do it?" he wonders about the hand-work of the 'petit-mains' who have laboured over these exquisite examples of the couture art and craft. "Some of these tops have 400,000 pearls and crystals. Can you imagine? I couldn't do it for five minutes."
He knows better than to make the stuff himself.
Paris Haute Couture: Chanel spring/summer 2011 [Telegraph UK]