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Chanel: Provocateur that he is, Karl Lagerfeld knows that there's something to be said for a high-profile flap now and then. So much so, that he transferred the notion to his haute couture collection for Chanel, which he showed on Tuesday evening against a set of four towering Chanel fragrance bottles. Though its near-10 p.m. start time seemed to herald otherwise, this was, by Lagerfeld's standards, a low-key collection, one focused on the complete wardrobe needs of Chanel's tony clientele. Hence, the plethora of fine suits, several appealing coats—including a brown-and-black tweed over jaunty cropped pants and autumn-leaf-toned tweed with triple sable border—and smart, versatile dresses, all shaped from a small, girlish, rounded shoulder. If it rings classic, it was... more

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Giorgio Armani Prive: Bring on the smart pantsuits with lean-cut jackets in countless distinctive variations, some fastened with large, studded dome buttons; the slim dresses, the savvy glam gowns. As for playing to his gal's radical side—and his own cool assurance—Armani dared to evoke a sporty attitude, which borrowed unmistakably from the boys, rendered in shirts (albeit sometimes of the naughty-lace variety) tucked into low-slung pants, as well as ample appearances of hoodies, blousons, polo shirts and demonstrative utility zipper, which made tracks across day clothes and high evening alike. Within the ever chichi context of couture, it made for a bold statement. Yet Armani's intent was not to rethink couture by dressing down... more

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Christian Lacroix: The designer showed a breathtaking collection that, while utterly signature—not one item could have been conjured by anyone else—was completely reality-based and wearable, from start to finish. Though apparently a product of necessity—the coffers are pretty much empty—the newly sedate collection looked as haute as ever, yet now utterly suited for life beyond a dream sequence. Lacroix's ultradecorated Basque jackets became a saucy spencer with jeweled pockets and a gold-buttoned military affair; an asymmetric draped cocktail dress had a controlled spill of jewels down the front; a drop-waist coatdress looked almost stark. But the biggest surprise was evening, almost all black and linear (save for a remarkable full-skirted, flamenco-influenced knockout), his passion for decoration as subtle as a point d'esprit fichu, and for color, a single vibrant, well-placed ribbon... more

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