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Karl Goes Carbon-Neutral! Wind Turbines, Solar Panels Meet Gumball Pearls at Chanel

From jumbo carousels to high-gloss hoedowns, towering glaciers to undersea revelries, Karl Lagerfeld‘s mise-en-scene knows no bounds. Fortunately for him (and the fashion world), neither does Chanel‘s show budget. For the house’s spring 2013 ready-to-wear extravaganza, held yesterday in Paris, the Kaiser was feeling energy of the alternative sort, sending a whopping 80 looks down a runway studded with wind turbines and tiled in solar panels. The eco-friendly flourishes were echoed in several ensembles, including an intarsia knit ode to wind power (above), a series of dresses in photovoltaic checkboard motifs (below), and hats with Perspex brims (don’t forget the SPF). But there were plenty more alternatives on parade in this supersized collection, held together with gobs of gumball pearls that bubbled up as chokers, bracelets, brooches, buttons, and hair accessories. Along with the usual riffs on Chanel signatures (black and white, tweed, the skirt suit), Lagerfeld sent out some slouchy and oversized silhouettes that ixnayed Madame Chanel‘s obsession with a high-cut armhole. He also proved his mastery of the bolero, explored the Peter Pan-to-pilgrim collar continuum, and experimented with scattered blossoms in garments that called to mind, at their best, the floral garlands of Tord Boontje and, elsewhere, the fizzy, marabou-tufted stagewear of Phyllis Diller, may she rest in peace.

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