He evoked a wonderland fit for a Snow Queen and created a niagical wardrobe of dreaming evening gowns to match magician’s wand over this Mit-teleuropa spectacle (that evoked the Chekhovian mood of Marc Jacobs, Olivier Theyskens, and other ready-to-wear designers this season) and made it uniquely his own: The models, by now all in place, removed their outer layers to reveal the haute couture triumphs beneath.
Under those trim little raincoats were perfectly scissored suits in mouthwatering pink and mauve tweeds (with coat linings to match), or flapper dresses delicately fringed and embroidered with the finest silver chain; beneath those witches’ capes were evening slithers of slipper satin or fin de siecle ball gowns in clouds of rosy taffeta. Grayson Perry hit it on the nail when he described Lagerfeld’s collection as an “an orgasm of creativity.”
With his runway carpeted in white fur and spangled with mirror balls, Christian Lacroix evoked a wonderland fit for a Snow Queen, and created a magical wardrobe to match. Lacroix’s febrile imagination melded shapes and prints evocative of seventies London design gods like Bill Gibb and Ossie Clark with the lush palette and opulent fabrics of the religious icons of High Renaissance art. Like Lagerfeld at Chanel, Lacroix played with the idea of the unexpected reveal.
A coat embroidered with fronds of black-and-white ostrich feathers and Lurex threads was shrugged off to reveal an olive crepe de Chine camisole; a puffball of hand-painted black organza disguised a slither of tango-orange crepe. Lacroix’s dreaming evening gowns included a bias view 191 of champagne satin trellised with a ribbon of filmy black tulle and dresses created from whorls of organza shaded from pink to beige or jade to sky-blue.