Chanel SS 2010 / PFW / Day seven

“How ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm, after they’ve seen Paree?” mused the old war song. Apparently, the lyricist hadn’t considered the lure of fields with Farmer Lagerfeld doing the tilling.

In the Chanel collection he showed on Tuesday morning, Karl Lagerfeld celebrated country life with wit, audacity and loads of style, imagining a bucolic paradise where Bardot look-alikes stick silver tree branches in their hair, high-heeled clogs (Lagerfeld called them 5 o’clogs) on their dainty feet, and stroll around a far-from-quaint rural scape (“The money goes out, but it comes back in,” Lagerfeld quipped of the megaset he had installed in the Grand Palais) like a glam band of latter-day Marie Antoinettes at the Petit Trianon. For spring, they welcomed the adorably countrified Lily Allen, who performed beneath a rustic pergola that rose through the floorboards, and a flattened bale of hay, and disappeared again once she reminded some selfish farm boy that she thinks he’s really mean. Surely Allen couldn’t have meant the young farmhand generous enough to share his new bride with his cross-dressing companion in a playful ménage.

Whatever the long-term prospects for that particular threesome, the future for this collection looks fabulous. Karl’s farm girl, who knows a great tweed when she sees one, will love rough-hewn versions, some veiled in lace. But life in the country can turn monotonous, so he bestowed her with a range of diversionary gems. Suits had skirts cut short and lean or into sculpted bells; jackets came every which way: short, long, belted, loose, cut sleekly or with abundant full sleeves. Floral frocks trailed airy appendages, while a safari shirt sturdied a black lace skirt. And fabulous, meaty hand knits, some strewn with poppies, brought new wonder to the notion of cozy chic. It all made for a high-chic country fair — and that’s worth crowing about.

© by WWD / Photos by Giovanni Giannoni

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