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Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2011

Surprisingly, Blake Lively, who must be busy shooting Gossip Girl, was nowhere in sight at the 2011 Spring Haute Couture Chanel show. Then again, who needs Lively when you’ve got ten million beads spread over 60-plus haute couture garments to ogle at? A parade of mostly light-hued garments, the collection was feminine and soft with lots of shine, including glossy skinny pants that were, at times, worn underneath mini dresses – the one major stylistic misstep in the show.

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The show itself, which took place on the Rue Cambon, was far less grand than the show staged last couture season at the Grand Palais, and tied into the more casual feel of this season’s collection. Karl Lagerfeld told WWD that daywear is a huge part of the couture business, adding “life is not a cocktail party.” In line with that, the collection was not nearly as captivating as more dramatic ones from the likes of John Galliano for Christian Dior, but there was a wearable, approachable softness that will certainly sell, and made for some gorgeous separates. It’s a shame not to be able to see the collection up close because the details that went into even the most casual pieces – sequin pants, beaded tops, and bedazzled jeans – certainly require a close look to be truly appreciated.

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As for evening wear, it was similarly more casual than one might have expected and there were no particular award show-worthy stand-outs. Further, there were quite a few oddball silhouettes that struck as unflattering, even on the gorgeous models that wore them, a problem that was compounded when they were fashioned out of sheer fabrics, but one that could have likely been avoided with more tailored-to-the-body cuts. 

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More: Front Row at Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2011 with Diane Kruger and more