CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE AND THINGS are looking up for retailers and computer geeks alike. On-line Christmas sales are up 12%, according to CNBC, and department store sales are up 14% over 2009 for the month of December. To make things even better, 21 percent of Christmas retail sales reported represented jewelry according to the U.S. Census. Is that great? Let’s hope the direction continues!
KARL LAGERFELD DAZZLES PARIS WITH BYZANTINE FASHION STORY
CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS AND New Year’s is easy when you concentrate on Karl Lagerfeld this year. The super-designer presented a glorious collection of outfits for Chanel’s pre-fall Métiers d’Art Collection, sending stunning models down the runway in clothes exquisitely rich in ornamentation.
This was a spectacular Byzantine design story, in golden colors and dazzling crystal, sequins and beading. What could be better for holiday dressing? Beat the calendar and try bringing elements of the Lagerfeld elaboration into your present day look!
Lagerfeld’s colors for this collection were mostly gentle, quiet, even muted, all very pink, peach, gold and pale grey offset by black and some tans and browns. Embroideries were rich and luxurious; materials were lavish, soft, and often transparent. One exquisite evening dress featured Lurex lace at its very best and most flamboyant, set off by piles of long Chanel-like necklaces and rows and rows of bracelets, both cuffs and bangles.
LOOK HERE FOR LAGERFELD-LIKE NECKLACE CHOICES AND CREATE A TOUCH OF YOUR OWN BYZANTINE MAJESTY:
‘IT’S ALL ABOUT MOSAICS!” the designer said of the outfits. Mosaics, indeed. These dresses could have materialized out of a Vatican Museum tapestry collection, what with their artful symbols and regal medieval conceits.
One long coat in highly embroidered transparent material featured gold braid down the front, balanced by gold scroll work on a black net background. Fabulous! Shown with it were black and gold slacks and a black top with muted skinny belt. This was surely reminiscent of yesteryear’s French monarchy! Lagerfeld added little beyond Louboutin-like slipper heels and a little black clutch bag.
However, with almost all of the outfits lighting up the runway, necklaces played a key role. To call them heavy would be an understatement. Beaded necklaces, one on top of the other, dropping from medium length to the waist characterized most of the dress and slacks outfits.
Many of the multi-strand necklaces were golden, beaded, and ebullient. Others were sparkling with gemstones and crystals. Still others were white, pearl laden, very Chanel-esque. When we say many, however, we aren’t kidding! One outfit must have sported 20 strands of beads, maybe more and that was in no way the exception!
ALSO BIG WITH LAGERFELD were bracelets. They were invariably worn in multiples, on both wrists, sometimes stretching up toward the elbow. And then there were headbands! Gracing high-piled hairdos, the headbands were metallic, golden, light-reflecting, and royal.
Seen alone, all of this jewelry might seem excessive. But in a strange and almost contradictory way, the heavy jewelry balanced out the rich and elaborate materials and designs of this collection, making for a remarkably lush yet sometimes actually serene total impression. On one hand, the collection is remarkably luxurious, at the same time it takes its source mainly from 5th and 6th century church art work.
Lagerfeld admitted that he originally thought about showing the collection in Istanbul, since it is there that Byzantine art originally flourished along the banks of the Bosphorus, but instead the designer settled on an elegant Parisian setting that he magically transformed into a Turkish tearoom. It was all fittingly Lagerfeld-dramatic!
YOU CAN FIND LAVISH JEWELRY TO FIT THE BYZANTINE MODE THIS NEW YEAR’S. JUST LOOK HERE FOR HIGH DESIGN AT EXCELLENT PRICES: