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Chanel Haute Couture SS11 hits Rodeo Drive

February 22, 2011 |  3:31 pm

It’s Oscar week and as if there wasn’t enough glamour and glitz swirling about, Chanel has flown the spring-summer 2011 Haute Couture collection in for clients and celebrities to see up close and in CABGMKJ0CA6YR5UCCAPEZR3ICARH4YASCAITFRZVCAD4NYFMCAYS79B1CAD2AS08CATB3UPYCAP21XF3CAMRRUZECAVCAZ75CA7CZWZGCA4NBJ9CCANE696DCATIDAQPCADLK7NLCAHVOW1OCA3R7DZJ person. The collection, which in its entirety of over 60 pieces appears lighter than air, was shown in an all-white, sunlight-drenched room on the second floor of the Chanel boutique on Rodeo Drive.

It’s hard to imagine that one white-beaded double-breasted floor length coat took 1,000 hours to make and that each one of the millions of tiny sequins, beads and metallic threads were all hand-placed and sewn onto the finest tulle and chiffon. The idea seems more real when you see one of the women who had a major hand in creating the collection. Martine Houdet, Chanel’s Premier L’Atelier (head of the couture workshop in Paris) is in town with the collection to fit couture clients. Anyone who’s seen the documentary Chanel Signe about the insanely creative and often chaotic process it takes to make the couture collection might remember Houdet as one of Lagerfeld’s team.

This is the first time in over five years that the Couture line has appeared in L.A, and Chanel’s head of Couture services, Sigrid De’Lepine is passionate about the pieces being available for potential buyers to touch and feel in person. De’Lepine was on-hand to explain the painstaking details of each piece and that it takes a team of 150 people to work full time on couture, in order to get the samples and orders finished. As aspiring as the couture line is, Chanel is clearly making it as accessible as possible to those who can afford to wear it.

Next, the Chanel Haute Couture collection will travel to China then Japan, so the French house’s loyal Asian customers can experience the craftsmanship up close and possibly place an order.

Melissa Magsaysay

Photos: A model walks the runway during the Chanel show as part of the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2011 at Pavillon Cambon Capucines on Jan. 25, 2011, in Paris. Credit: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images