Couture diary: Karl dazzles at Chanel + a guilt-free dessert!

Chanel Finale (Karl adjusts Kristen McMenamy's bridal gown)

It’s the morning of the Chanel couture show and the Hotel Castille is jammed with Chanel press attachés from around the globe. Breakfast arrives late, and I gulp down tea and scrambled eggs before dashing off to the Chanel Fine Jewellery boutique in the Place Vendome.

Even though the doors have just opened, every salesperson is already spoken for, including the one looking after a French woman and her teenage daughter who are sipping tomato juice and perusing the watchcases. I head upstairs to a heavily guarded private room, where the new haute fine jewellery collection is on display for the press. Les Secrets d’Orient is a mix of Byzantine and other Eastern influences: domed rings with trembling pearls, sunbursts of tourmalines, sapphires and garnets, mosaic-like rubies, emeralds and pink sapphires floating on lacquer which intensifies the hues, and oversized diamond and pearl camellias so fine the white gold work resembles lace. The collection will be available in Chanel’s fine jewellery boutiques in July, or by special order.

Left: Exterior of the Chanel Fine Jewellery Boutique. Right: The Secret d'Orients collection. These rubies, emerald and sapphires are floating on lacquer to intensify the colours.

Next stop: the Chanel couture show, where Karl Lagerfeld dazzles, as usual. There were no crazy iceberg or gold lion sets this time. Just a simple mirrored archway through which the models walked. First out: boucle suits with cobwebby embroidery, followed by the prettiest pale pink suits and dresses over skinny pants. Then out came one silver spangled sheath, then another, and another until we reached a visual crescendo of twinkling dresses and coats – like all the stars in the galaxy had converged in one outfit.

Jerry Hall Daphne Guinness
Left, Jerry Hall. Right, Daphne Guinness.

Jerry Hall, clad in Chanel haute couture, and Daphne Guinness, two jewelled earrings in one ear, were among those singing Karl’s praises. Afterward, Jeanne Beker and I are treated to lunch at the Park Hyatt hotel by Chanel’s Canadian press attaché, and share a low-cal guilt-free parfait – layers of apple compote, meringue, lemongrass mousse, and lemon tapioca. A girl could get used to this.

Bernadette Morra Jeanne Beker
Jeanne Beker (right) and I indulging in low-cal parfait.