Most people who follow fashion know the Chanel signatures very well: black, ivory, bouclé, suits, camellias, black, ivory. Rinse, repeat. Karl Lagerfeld’s Spring 2010 haute couture collection of graphic white and silver was a significant departure from the Chanel aesthetic that we have all come to expect, and his Chanel Fall/Winter 2010 Haute Couture collection is yet another giant step into new territory.

The most startling things about this collection were the surprising choices in color and proportion. Normally Chanel’s color palette is very predictable, but these clothes were rendered in the very un-Chanel shades of maroon, gold, navy and brown. Proportion was primarily at play in the collection’s suits and coats – abbreviated jackets were paired with below-the-knee flared skirts, coats were often boxy and straight or puffed to comical proportions. As always with Chanel couture, the real fireworks started after the show’s halfway point, where somewhat odd suits and jackets gave way to beading and embroidery so intricate and masterful that an in-person viewing would surely be required in order to appreciate the skill of the work in full. In the end, this collection should be counted as a bold achievement on the part of Lagerfeld and his team even if the suits and coats looked to hold it back at times.

Photos via Style.com

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