For day two of the Spring 2011 couture collections, Karl Lagerfeld's luminescent designs for Chanel were the talk of the city that prides itself on exterior illumination, while Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci derived his inspiration from the Far East.
Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel couture show attracted luminaries du jour such as Daphne Guinness, Kirsten Dunst, Mario Testino, Jerry Hall, Poppy Delvigne and Alexa Chung to name a few. They witnessed an emotion-evoking show in light-as-a-cloud pinks, pastels and feathers, inspired by the watercolors of Marie Laurencin, who painted a portrait of Coco Chanel in the 1920s.
All the models wore flats, softening their typical Clydesdale stomps into more of a leisurely stroll. And almost all of them were wearing leggings -- of clear glass beads, sequins, silk and even pale denim. Lagerfeld played a proportion game, riffing on the tunic-over-pant silhouette that made a big splash on Spring runways. Waists were dropped and often tied with flowy silk sashes. Shapes were largely A-line, hitting at the aforementioned tunic length or mid-calf.
For the ever-present Chanel suit, tutu-like minis were thrown over leggings and under jackets that hit at the hips. To continue the cloud effect, silver-haired beauty Kristen McMenamy (who, in her comeback, has been closing top shows left and right) donned the floaty feathery floor-sweeping finale look. She was the perfect swan.
Riccardo Tisci took Givenchy to Japan for his latest couture collection, drawing inspiration from Kazuo Ohno, the great Bhuto dancer. The result was a staggeringly elaborate showing of 10 gorgeous gowns.
For some of the looks, the designer quilted entire cranes, which swooped around sheer tulle full-length dresses. He doused the same ivory tulle with skirts of feathers and tied them up with neat obi knots. Wings cleverly covered hips and poitrines, in Tisci's signature trick of sexy occlusion. The palette was primarily white with wisps of lavender, canary and pale rose. Satin appliqués adorned the backs of these delicate creations.
Headgear offset all this majesty and romance. Sci-fi helmets with horns were created by Philip Treacy, as robots were also cited as inspiration. Naturally.
For more of the couture looks from the spring 2011 season, click here.