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by Christine Suppes

German monasteries in the twelfth century were bitterly cold spaces in which discussions were held in large common rooms that surely claimed the lives by death from pneumonia of many monks. Thus the fashionistas arrived at the near freezing Grand Palais for the Chanel show, to be given a white CC oversized wrap and a stainless CC thermos of hot tea. A Chanel client next to me preferred her (non-CC) silver flask of brandy, which she clutched in her overly manicured Dragon Lady nails laced with diamond rings of various over sizes. Her long suffering male companion kept stealing white CC wraps in which to enfold her until she looked like a big, fat drunken mummy. I was so cold I nearly asked her to share her flask with me. Then the show began, and what a show. The set was constructed like a NASA rocket site, in which younger than young and skinnier than skinny models in flat, delicate boots and mini dresses traversed. Some entered the rocket and disappeared. Beautiful jeunes filles, one lovelier than the next in sculpted suits or heavenly deconstructed evening ensembles circled the stage. The something jarring occurred: a model in a long gown, evening jacket and high heels appeared----now the show for the older client began. I confess I saw so many beautiful clothes in this part of the show that I forgot the chill. Black and white are still Mr. Lagerfeld's favorite colors, just as supreme modern elegance is still his mantra. When he appeared at his finale like the count of an old Teutonic castle in his painted on black jeans and matching Ugg boots, the rocket ship "took off" to reveal all of the models on a high circular stage. Mr. Lagerfeld is an eccentric genius, and I am always amazed.

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