Chanel Paris Byzance Pre-Fall 2011 Collection

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Tuesday December 7th 2010 – Rue Cambon – Chanel Haute Couture Salons

It was a snowy day yesterday in Paris but the atmosphere in the Chanel Haute Couture salons transported the guests to another era, time and place. This is the Paris Byzance Métiers d’art show, broadcasting CHANEL’s specialist craftsmen “proteges”. These include the ateliers of Desrues the costume jeweler, Lemarié the feather specialist, Lesage the embroiderer, Massaro the shoe-maker, Michel the milliner, Goossens the goldsmith and Guillet the floral accessory specialist. Back in 2002, Karl Lagerfeld dedicated an annual collection to them, whilst also celebrating a city that is part of the House’s history. This year, for the ninth occasion, he brings us the “Paris Byzance” collection, in keeping with the opening of a second CHANEL boutique in Istanbul.

In a decor worthy of an Ottoman Palace, with 400 metres of sequinned fabric covering the walls of the Haute Couture salons. Karl Lagerfeld revisits the bold colors and the antique golds of enamels and icons, with midnight and mineral blues, and deep purples, violets and greens. Favoring refined, rounded shapes that flow and drape, he has reinterpreted tunics and togas in a contemporary, very feminine style. Asymmetrical drapings, with loose panels at the front and back, outline a shifting silhouette. The Byzantine signature is clearly stated in tweeds interwoven with gold, satin leather, velvet, cashmere, chiffon, lace and tulle. It influences the tablions, the braids and the embroidery. The buttons are jewelled stones while the arabesque or palmette appliqués are trimmed with gold. The weave is coarse yet and sophisticated, dazzling like a mosaic.

Byzance and its splendor abound on the belts and jewelry, adorned with square glass beads, filigree gilt metal, enameling and beads, for a modern-day, entrancing and seductive Theodora. Mademoiselle Chanel took Byzantine art as her major inspiration when she was the first to launch a line of costume jewelry in the 1920s.

Legs are clad in long socks featuring geometrical designs and sheen. Massaro created sandals with jewels thanks to mosaic bracelets or arabesque cut-outs defining the shape. Thigh-high boots are sprinkled with richly colored glass beading. Ballet pumps are tipped with gold filigree, while discreet gold embellishes pony skin and crocodile leather.

The traditional 2.55 bags and the minaudières are also getting a Byzantine splendor benediction, with gold running through burnt-out tweed, embedded precious stones or buttons and embellished braids as appliqués.

Karl Lagerfeld explains, “Inspiration is not a copy but a starting point, taking us somewhere new.”

See the Chanel Paris Byzance backstage photos here

Visit Chanel.com for store location, Chanel Fragrance, Skincare and Makeup online shopping

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Chanel Paris Byzance Pre-Fall 2011 Fashion Show Video

See all the looks below:

Runway & Front Row Photos Courtesy of Chanel

Street Photos J.T Stylerumor.com

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  • PipiLaLa

    Can we say “Paris-Moscou” ? It’s like they didn’t even try to make something new from their past Metiers d’Art collection.

  • Christy

    Love everything from A to Z, beautiful collection which reflect perfectly the metiers d’arts, thank you for these fantastic photos :)

  • helen

    Chanel is the ultimate luxury brand I love everything of it!

  • hype

    Maison Michel did a magnifique work on the headbands!