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From the Cupboard of Ages Past

By Timothy Hagy

PARIS, January 25 - It's somewhat ironic that at the time Karl Lagerfeld sold off every piece of his personal Louis XVI collection at Sotheby's, he would choose porcelain from the Age of Enlightenment as inspiration for his Chanel couture collection. And of course it worked, like everything else Karl touches, but elegance aside, you wonder what Elvis might have thought at the sight of his granddaughter, Kylie Minogue, surrounded by a long line of mink-clad dowagers and stuffy fashion editors. Maybe he would have just laughed.

Models with white powdered hair meandered gracefully around a fountain, and if there was a blemish to be found in this quintessentially Coco day and eveningwear, it was not more evident than an occasional beauty spot.

For all the charm of the collection, Karl drew more attention from the set of rings he wore on each of his fingers, and the crystal belt he tucked beneath his Dior Homme short-tailed jacket. Those are also the trinkets that interested the hoards of teenagers waiting patiently out in the cold last November for a chance to snatch up one of his pieces designed for H&M. China is a very delicate ornament, easily shattered.


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