Sunday, 19 December 2010

sailing to byzantium

One wrote artistic poems for the divided Irish nation. The other designs beautiful clothing for a luxurious market. Despite their differences, for both Yeats and Lagerfeld, the allure of Byzantium has a strong influence in their work:


Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.
William Butler Yeats, 'Sailing to Byzantium', 1926


I really admire how Karl Lagerfeld has maintained Chanel's heritage in his Pre-Fall 2011 M├ętiers d'Art collection - the black and white palette, tweed, lace - whilst giving it a Byzantine-inspired twist.


"Inspiration is not a copy but a starting point...taking us somewhere new." Not usually a fan of the fashion pack's fustian descriptions, but I suppose that in relation to how he applies this Turkish decadence to Chanel's traditional style, Lagerfeld might actually have a point here.

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