Miami Vice

Karl Lagerfeld can't sit still. Aside from designing more than a gloved handful of collections every season—showing on their native runways from Paris to Milan—he is also a photographer, a videogame DJ and one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2008.

One would think that would be enough to keep the 70-something busy. But not our Karl. At the helm of titanic Chanel and Fendi, he has been one of the major proponents in turning the simple concept of a runway show in to a delectable sideshow. Spring and Fall have remained stationary, well, at least geographically speaking (care for a twirl on the Chanel carousel, anyone?). But Resort has become the traveling circus. When given a chance to take the show on the road, Karl has for the last three Resort seasons opted to peddle the goods Stateside. Last year at Chanel it was the aviatrix at the Santa Monica Airport Hanger. Before that New York heeded the call. And lest not forget Fendi's Great Wall extravaganza.

Last Friday Lagerfeld invited his VIPs (Very Important Patrons) to a pool party at Miami's Raleigh Hotel to showcase Chanel's Resort '09 collection. The Art Deco scene seemed to foretell an oncoming legion of models roaring down the runway in 20s-era ensembles. Guests—who spanned from Diane Kruger to Anna Kournikova (among other Annas)—looking for the time-tested Le Smoking or satin floor-length number did not leave the show unsatisfied. There were plenty of references to the decade's flirtation with a more liberal sexuality, sometimes overtly feminine, other times subterfuged with a wink towards androgyny.

However, the collection did not stop with a modern interpretation of the Jazz Age. It also provided a 70s-inspired slant to the equation. Think part Gatsby, part Taxi Driver, with a little Marlene Dietrich stirred in for an added edge of glamor and mischief. Whatever it was, there was definitely a little gangster present—of course, with Old Hollywood sensibility in mind. Even the footwear was trigger happy.

With 74 looks the show meandered a bit from a solid focus (and it wasn't just the wavy runway). There were a few misguided looks. Namely, a series of navel-grazing sweaters with bell sleeves, paired with ultra-flared bell bottoms and a pleated, hyper-short (Hot-pant? Skirt?).

Overall, the collection was a refreshing glimpse in to our fashion future. And of course, the accessories—particularly the strappy metallic or black and white cross-hatch heels—was Chanel doing what it does best.

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