Glam Slam: My Chanel Haute Couture Moment

I confess. I’ve had an exceptionally fab week…first seeing Elizabeth Taylor’s famed Bulgari jewels right on our set. Then, a visit to the VIP Salon at the Chanel Boutique to get an up- close look at the Spring/Summer 2013 Haute Couture Collection. All I can say is “Wow.”

I may never get to Paris to see a Chanel runway show, but this was the next best thing! The collection is set against an enchanted forest theme and the emphasis is on the upper part of the body and the shoulders in particular.

The detailing on the collection is exquisite and impossible to capture in words or in photos. The black floral gowns in the top photo were the last dresses in the collection to be assembled, requiring up to 400 thousand sequins per gown and more than 1000 hours of work per gown. Oh, the patience the artisans at the Métiers d’art houses that specialize in this labor intensive work must have. No wonder they are the best in the world!

I loved the ethereal look of the two pale dresses pictured, particularly the feathered skirt on the left, which consists of several layers of meticulous detailing. The result is a floaty, fluttery gown that appears to be feather-light. Breathtaking!

New techniques and fabrics were also incorporated in this collection. For the first time in Chanel’s Couture, a dress was made with neoprene…AKA the material used in scuba suits. A novel tweed effect was also created for several looks using woven ribbons of silk, satin and organza tulle, resulting in a nearly transparent fabric.

Headpieces were made of chiffon and feathers. Some of the buttons in the collection were found in the archives and were like little pieces of jewelry. There was also gorgeous embroidery and hand painted detailing.

When you see the work that goes into these gowns, you realize they should be in a museum. They are like beautiful pieces of art.

-- Ryan Patterson

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