The art of dressing the runway is serious business in Paris. Leave New York to its simple and straightforward whiteall the better to play the supporting role of blank canvas. Here, they're always trying out new materials for the models to traverse: a gasoline slick, a layer of sand, or, as happened this season at Lagerfeld Gallery, silver glitter on a midnight-black floor.
More importantly, though, did Karl Lagerfeld's collection itself sparkle? There were certainly shining moments. The multitasking Monsieur Lagerfeld hasn't totally abandoned the androgyny theme he has been exploring for several seasons: There were sweeping fedoras, starched wing collars on dresses, and skinny smokings with supertight pants. But the majority of these pieces were much softer (bloused and pleated dresses), brighter (a palette of hot pink, pale lavender, and buttercup yellow amid the monochrome), and lighter (skirts atop stiffened petticoats, a recurring trend here) than other Lagerfeld Gallery offerings of late. That was particularly true of the evening looks that closed the show. The same wispy, wonderful, weightless quality Lagerfeld injects into his furs for Fendi, or his cardigan jackets for Chanel, came through beautifully in a series of silk dresses slipped over sweeping gauze underskirts.