Observing last night's Givenchy presentation at Hotel d'Evreux in the Place Vendome, I was reminded how seriously people take fashion. Watching inquisitive editors take diligent notes and detailed photos of each intricate cream, gold, and white gown, knit, and blouse accessibly displayed on forms that could be touched by prying and curious hands brought this still life presentation completely to life.
I have been a huge fan of Riccardo Tisci's work at Givenchy. His first Couture shows mystified me, but I came around to his gothic Couture. His men's and women's ready to wear is both a commercial and critical success, but it is his Couture where his poetry and artistry is elevated to spectacular heights. What is marvelous about these intimate presentations is the ability to see all the work that goes into each creation -- be it tiny seed pearls hand-applied to the lightest chiffons or a dramatic gold evening bag with metal fringe long enough to graze the floor, if you are really cool and really rich, this is your wardrobe. I don't know exactly where one wears most of these clothes as the are ultra sheer and ultra precious, but a bride with bucks and an apartment overlooking the Vendome Column could probably justify this wardrobe. If the Hotel d'Evreux is available, buy the apartment and the spectacular clothing currently hanging in it.
After Givenchy, I may have left the Place Vendome to journey to the Grand Palais for Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel dusk spectacular, but the Place Vendome never left me. Lagerfeld's team recreated the entire Place Vendome with 180 degree walls resembling facades of the Ritz and Boucheron, complete with street lights and a replica of the famous center column all placed on sparkly granite under the imposing drama of the glass dome revealing the night sky above us. Seated next to celebrity stylist Cristina Ehrlich (Penelope Cruz and Amy Adams are two of her clients) we were perched behind Vogue's Grace Coddington and Anna Wintour and to the left of Diane Kruger and Elle Fanning. Karl's new jacket is the old jacket but with a peplum. If you are WASP-waisted life is good. The suits were shown with sensibly-heeled knee-high boots, sometimes resembling ill-fitting stockings your Granny may have worn. Navy is the new black and sparkly boucle is the new day fabric of choice. The clothes were so conservative and covered that I will call this the Lubavitch collection. Galliano may have been ousted from Dior for a drunken anti-Semite tirade, but Chanel has the Orthodox covered.
These clothes may look fabulous on the teen one-named models walking down the runway, but I fear they are aging on anyone over 20. They are gorgeous and luxe, but they are best for Elle Fanning and not Elle Macpherson. One spectacular backless paillette evening gown with sheer panels had me swoon and I am a fan of Lagerfeld's commitment to evening dresses at the awkward above the ankle length especially his vibrant fuchsia crepe dress. The final look, always a bride, was Kate Middleton appropriate with long charmeuse sleeves, but a train with Swarovski crystals resembling freeform stripes of a zebra. It may have been covered, but it certainly turned heads.
After the show, I headed to an intimate midnight dinner at Caviar Kaspia with some of Chanel's top global clients. I was so happy to see the impeccable Lynn Wyatt who had earlier visited Karl's studio and reminded us that a jacket on the runway looks so different when you see the spectacular creativity and elaborate details up close. If anyone knows a good buy, it is Lynn Wyatt. After all the barometer of good taste wore Chanel to the Royal Wedding in Monaco last weekend. The bride wore Prive.