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Photographed by Gabriel Karanfil

Paris, October 5, 2005 - It takes the elegant touch of an artist like Karl Lagerfeld to infuse a gracefully modernity into fashion. Those hands, at least backstage after the Lagerfeld Gallery show on Wednesday morning, were covered with crocodile gloves, the finger tips cut out. But as a long line of the world's most powerful editors heaped praises on the collection just shown, Karl demurely asked "Did you really think it was futuristic?" Inspired by the work of Jean Prouvé, the pieces were riddled with a swiss-cheese-cut-out motif that appeared in hemlines, in the bodice of sleek suit, in a leather bracelet that wrapped the wrists, in the sleeves of a charcoal-gray jacket.

Elsewhere, ribbons tied around the forearm fell in a froth of fluttering streamers and chrome-heeled stilettos clacked along the runway. But to see the mastery of the sharp, linear silhouette that Karl has developed for Lagerfeld Gallery, you would have to look at the cut of a gossamer gown split into an under layer that dissolved in shades of powdery blue, or the tweaked draping of a print dress overlaid with medallions of aluminum, or even the transparent train that fell from the shoulders of an jet-black evening gown cascading down the back in a pool of shimmering sparkles.

Two PETA protestors hardly caused a ruffle with the professional models before security guards literally tackled them.

In the jaded world of high fashion, where the banal can quickly resemble the plot of the movie "White Chicks", it's refreshing to see all the nothingness injected with artistry and panache. This collection was Karl Lagerfeld at his best, and it simply doesn't get any better than that.



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