- By Deepa Krishnan
The Indian press has been writing scathing comments about Karl Lagerfeld and his rose-tinted view of India; but really, he's produced some neat stuff for a new India-inspired Chanel show.
The show is called the Paris-Bombay Metiers d'Art (meaning Paris-Bombay Crafts and Art). And while it is a pretty good homage to Indian textile and jewellery craft; it has a modern look that gives it global appeal. Most important, a lot of it is actually wearable. Which is more than can be said for the usual nonsense that passes off as high fashion.
Take this one for example, lovely soft drape, evocative of the saree, but such a beautiful outfit. My friend Sheetal who is tall and leggy would look fantastic in this. Me, alas, I'm too short and - let's face it - too dumpy - to even dream of wearing this.
Photos from ibtimes.com; they have a great set of photos in case you want to have a look
I like the jewellery, do you? Absolutely fantastic stuff that works very well with the bejwelled collars and the Shiva-inspired dreadlocks!! :) Looks like it was crafted in India, doesn't it? It isn't. Apparently it was all fashioned in the Chanel ateliers in Paris.
Here's another totally gorgeous blue saree-inspired outfit. But really, it's that silver tribal-looking belt across the shoulder that gives it that incredible look. I wish I had a bigger photo, so you could see the ghungroo-like detail on that shoulder-belt.
The gauzy transparent fabric reminds me of the story about Emperor Aurangazeb's daughter. Apparently Aurangazeb reprimanded his daughter for appearing nearly naked in public; only to discover that she was wearing fine chanderi; a mix of cotton and silk so fine that it was almost sheer. Only after she wore seven layers of it was he satisfied. The model above has no such father to please! :)
If you want to see the show, check out the show trailer on youtube. You'll be surprised at how wearable everything is. There are lots of kameez-churidar inspired pieces and skirts wrapped like dhotis. Flat sandals (that have been so popular in Linking Road!) have also made an appearance, with lots of embellishment. There are several day-wear outfits; skirts and jackets, trousers, etc. All of them have interesting Indian accents - but it is the evening wear and bling that I really like a lot.
The stuff will be in Chanel stores in May 2012, I'm told. Not that I will ever buy anything from this line, ever. The prices are eye-wateringly high :)