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Thu, Jan 28, 2010
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Sweet temptation at Chanel

PARIS - AS LIGHT as meringues and mouth-watering as sorbets, Karl Lagerfeld's haute couture lines for next summer on Tuesday looked inspired by the patisserie counter, even if the designer no longer allows himself such sweet indulgences since his draconian diet.

Models had their hair elaborately coiffed into heart-shaped Sixties beehives, adorned with bows and baubles, their feet shod in shiny silver ankle boots and hands in dinky fingerless silver mittens. Even the guests reclined on silver upholstered sofas, while the salon was lit with fluorescent tubes in ice-cream shades of vanilla, strawberry and peppermint, reflecting the clothes on the catwalk.

For next season's daywear suits in the house's hallmark tweeds, Lagerfeld mostly dispensed with skirts, opting for tailored long shorts. Jackets came with mandarin collars, a wisp of pleated tulle peeping out at the neck, and trimmed with passementerie or pearls.

He also showed double-breasted coat dresses with stand-away collars, and simple sleeveless shifts cut square across the shoulders with sunbursts of silver embroidery down the front. Moving into the cocktail hour, Lagerfeld whipped up tulle into waffled, frothy, skirts as wobbly as jellies.

For evening, Lagerfeld turned up the glamour and piled on the couture detail, like the tiny pearl buttons running down the side seam of a draped column dress, with extra strings of pearls left dangling from the hip, or the rhinestone straps holding up an ice blue satin sheath with the bosom encased by pointed leaves.

The only black mark might be for Lagerfeld for completely avoiding the fashion crowd's default colour: for next summer he has decreed candy floss pink, apricot, almond green, lilac and primrose...anything but black.

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