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PFW: Karl Lagerfeld sticks to the Chanel playbook

March 11, 2009 |  5:54 pm

karl lagerfeld chanel paris fashion week fall 2009 PARIS -- In this recessionary environment, Karl Lagerfeld marshaled all the classic Chanel codes in his arsenal for his fall collection. He sent out doll-like versions of Mademoiselle herself, complete with flat top boater hats and see-through plastic kits of Chanel essentials -- the quilted handbag, the bottle of perfume, the compact -- that had the look of a child's toy.

Perhaps Lagerfeld was inspired by Barbie (he did a series of photographs of the 50-year-old icon that will be unveiled at the Paris boutique Colette on Thursday night). Indeed, there was something about the plasticky models, breezing in and out of eight interconnected rooms constructed on the runway, that brought to mind the Barbie Dream House.

For many women, Chanel is the dream house. So Lagerfeld laid out all the trappings in black and white, with classic boucle cardigan jackets and little black dresses trimmed with rows of white camellias, and black coats with frilly white chiffon cravats and cuffs.

karl lagerfeld chanel paris fashion week fall 2009 The palette was accentuated with touches of ballet pink (cutesy pompom socks and fluffy bow front sweaters, and soft green (pleated trousers worn with a black popcorn knit black jacket).

There were also quilted Chanel backpacks, Art Deco geometric pendants and geometric print leotards, which looked more like something Alexander McQueen would do. It was product overload, but that was the point. Because there may not have been much focus to this collection, but there was something for everyone, whichever Barbie she may be.

-- Booth Moore


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Photos: Ian Langston / EPA