Paree Prairie
October 6, 2009

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Seeing pics of the Chanel spring show Tuesday in Paris, I guess now they can change the lyric to, “How you gonna keep em off of the farm after they’ve seen Paree?” Even after penning my ode to the cool chic(k) the other day, little did I guess that Kountry Karl would take it to the hay-strewn limit, as the song says, one more time.

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But there is was – the cute floral frocks, delicate prairie palette and country-couture covetables like calico-flower bags and burlap wood-heeled clogs sporting the trademark Double C “brand”. Chanel tweeds even got the hayseed treatment and, at the end, Karl’s new favorite runway “rooster” Baptiste Giabiconi romped barefoot in the barnyard with the babes.

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Chanel’s take was masterful by all accounts but acres of ecru and bales of beige across all the runways might get a little played out in stores this spring, as Style.com noted in its review of Chloe’s more conventional collection, filled with workaday button-downs, roomy trousers and, yes, boyfriend jackets. Retailers are going to work hard “if their selling floors aren’t going to stretch like an executive dust bowl as far as the eye can see.” Sounds like some good ole’ country horse sense to us.

01050mSHORT TAKE: During New York Fashion Week, I first ran this photo and wrote about how panties were the top choice for the bottom of this season, running rampant on every runway. A week later, I was reading the New York Times, where Eric Wilson labeled the inner-wear initiative, “the Spanx trend”, accompanied by the same shot. The stylist in me wants to point out that the retro shapes being revived this season – granny panties and tighty whiteys – were around long before the advent of what is euphemistically termed “shapewear.” (And no disrespect intended, as come award season, loves me some Spanx!) But hey, or hay as you might rightly say, Couturealist was more than happy to get there first.

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Good ‘n Panty
September 16, 2009

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I’m not at Fashion Week this season, but from the looks of things for next spring New York designers have got their creative wad in a panty. Whether tight-y and white-y, a step away from nude, or in blazing color, the high-waisted  granny-underwear shape is no longer just an unseen foundation. This panty stands alone, whether in Alexander Wang’s sheer-sided party version paired with a sparkly sweater, Derek Lam’s sophisticated off-the-shoulder Park Avenue playsuit or Marc Jacobs’ satin-paneled shorties,

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layered over another emphatically high-waisted panty in sheer swiss. And he adds a matching bra layered over the shirt in his Rei Kawakubo-inspired collection – Good Things Comme To Those Who Wait? This may have all started back in July at Dior Haute Couture when John Galliano, inspired by photos of post-war models half-dressed in their cabine, sent out his models in just part of a look, a tailored “Bar” jacket here over a hand-made lacy-garter belt or a beaded lantern-shaped skirt there shown with an exquisite brassiere. But that was an arch concept for the Paris salon; here is New York we’re seeing the playful side of the panty raid.