August 30th, 2011 / posted by paularath

Tani Lynn models a one-piece by Karl Lagerfeld that looks like three.

Karl Lagerfeld‘s collection for Macy’s will launch tomorrow and stylist and local PR contractor Crystal Pancipanci, arranged for the local fashion media to see the pieces up close and personal this morning.

It’s quite an education to see how a fashion genius such as Karl Lagerfeld, who has ably filled the shoes of the unforgettable and iconic Coco Chanel, could take his design concepts to the street. And at these prices! The pieces range from $50 – $170.

While Lagerfeld had to scrimp on the fabrics, of course (none of that handwoven tweed you’ll see in a Chanel suit, these are mostly polyester blends) and the clothes are made in China, not in France, they have an insouciant style that is widely appealing. I was impressed with the amount of detail he achieved. Check out this cotton/poly blouse, retailing for $99:

Katie rocks the white shirt ($99) with leggings, a look that goes with many of the Lagerfeld pieces.

Love all the attention to detail, front and back! After all, 50 percent of people see us from the back...

It’s clear that a great deal of thought went into these garments; they’re not just dumbed down versions of Chanel classics. The dress at the top of this story, for example, looks like a blouse, skirt and jacket. Actually, it’s a dress with a detachable jacket that can be buttoned on and off. And it’s $139.

Katie in a vest ($79) and shorts ($89) inspired by Chanel tweed.

Many runways showed long hemlines for fall 2011, but Lagerfeld seems to be sticking with short for this collection. I guess we still have choices to make.

Men's wear designer Jerry Polyascko styles Tani Lynn.

Crystal called on her friend, Jerry Polyascko, of Polyascko2, the upscale, sophisticated men’s line designed in Hawaii, for styling assistance. Jerry tells me they are set to open a store in Milan, their first retail store. The collection is manufactured in Italy, just outside Milan, so it makes sense to retail there as well. It’s so exciting when our local designers go international!

If you have a particular interest in fashion, here’s an interesting “homework” assignment. Go to Macy’s and study the Karl lagerfeld collection. Touch the fabrics. Look at the construction. Check out the details such as buttons, seams and interfacings. Then go to a Chanel boutique and do the same thing. Touch the fabrics. Look at the construction. Check out the buttons, buttonholes, interfacings, seams – all the details that make a difference. (Chanel employees are very understanding about this.) If you’re really perceptive you may learn alot about what the differences are – and why the prices are so different.

Jerry promised me more photos soon, as I had to run out to an interview with Kahu Renee Pomaikai for a freelance story I’m writing on Hawaiian wedding traditions. I love my career! I learn so much every day.

– Paula Rath

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