Chanel showed their Spring 2011 collection on Tuesday morning and, personally, I think it was the best Chanel show I've ever seen. The set took over the entire Grand Palais (usually only part of the enormous space is used) and recreated a garden at Versailles complete with fountains. Or was it supposed to evoke the Tuileries Garden? Whatever the case, it was done up in black and white, providing the perfect backdrop for a show of 84, pretty modern looks. Yes 84 looks! A full orchestra attired in tuxedos with black cardigans serenaded the crowd with beautiful music including a hypnotic rendition of The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony." Highlights included a group of seemingly moth-eaten separates that opened the show, sexy dresses with feathers, the high-fashion biker boot, and the appearance of Karl Lagerfeld's longtime Chanel muse Ines de la Fressange on the runway. Seeing de la Fressange, who had a falling out with the designer years ago, walking arm-in-arm with Lagerfeld at the end of the show brought a sweet sentimentality to it all. The appearance of Chanel regulars of the past years did as well, including Stella Tennant, Heidi Mount, Angela Lindvall, Freja Beha Erichsen and Brad Kroenig with his toddler son. It was nostalgic in a forward-looking way and made Chanel feel as eternal as French fashion itself. Truly magique.
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