Cowboys and Indians: Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel

A few days ago, models walked the runway at Chanel Metiers d’Art pre-fall 2014 fashion show in Dallas. As usual, the production was outstanding and host to a crowd of nearly 1000 celebrities, top Chanel customers in Dallas and around the country, supermodels and members of the international fashion media . Lagerfeld showcased the company’s Métiers d’Art to vivid effect with clothes that trumpeted the American West—Cowboys and Indians clichés and all. Historically, Ralph Lauren has owned this fashion territory, but Lagerfeld seized upon it with gusto but also with characteristic deftness. “It’s a reinvention of something I don’t really know, but that I like to play with,” he said. The clothes in a Metiers collection are keyed geographically to that location. Dallas played an important role in the career of Coco Chanel. Retailer Stanley Marcus championed the designer’s debut collection in 1954, after a 15-year hiatus.

Lagerfeld describes the collection as, “West of the Mexican border in the time of the Civil War, a more romantic Texas fantasy.” As for the clothes, they were pretty much what Mr. Lagerfeld said: romantic renditions of serapes, Tex-Mex fringe, Chanelized prairie dresses in drought tones of red and brown, and piped wool jackets with shoulders formed like a saddle. The classic Chanel suit has become a bit boxier, the skirt longer and fuller, and worn with boots. For the Lone Star State: a cocktail dress and matching jacket embroidered with thousands of red and silver stars. Houndstooth coats with fur sleeves, blanket skirts and high-necked prairie blouses and miles and miles of fringe, accenting everything from a knit poncho and skirt set to a silky dress . This is the only way I can imagine how the west was won.

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