The phrase “it is what it is” ranks high on the list of least descriptive platitudes. The term means nothing in particular yet conveys a world of gloomy truth. Some things must be accepted for exactly what they are regardless of how we feel about them because at the present time there is  nothing short of a minor miracle that can be done about the situation. Things are either so beyond helping that they cannot be saved or they are exactly what they will always be and cannot be changed. Chanel, in it’s current Lagerfeld crafted state is what it is. Regardless of the season we can expect certain things from Karl and his team – whether or not these things are good all boils down to how the Coco aesthetic suits you.

Liya and Denisa at Chanel

For F/W 09 Lagerfeld delved into the Belle Epoque as viewed through the Chanel lens. ( Chanel F/W 09 Slideshow ) Utilizing many of the era’s visual cues –  ruffles, ruffs and loads of lacy frills – he tailored them to looks that were half staid, half melodramatic. The elegant jet black modesty of Karen Elson’s opening ensemble seemed out of sync with the graphic sexpot catsuits worn by Anja Rubik and Milania Keller. Add in a segement of pastel tinged suits with widebrim hats and you have the makings of a headscratcher. A host of questions emerge – which look is indicative of the Chanel woman for F/W 09? Which look sums up the Brummel theme? Just who exactly is going to wear a white catsuit?

Lara and Anja at Chanel

While each individual element has it’s own appeal it never quite gels into the uniform presentation it might have with a few careful edits. 70 plus may seem like a good idea but in an age of less is more it can amount to overkill. The parts that did work, worked beautifully. The parade of black suits, dresses and skirts was nothing short of impeccable while the color blocked accessories are sure to be best sellers. As attractive as these pieces were they couldn’t erase the more memorable yet less successful misguided moments. Chunky pastel knits are hard to forget and are strangely enticing in that Christmas sweater way. True Chanel devotees will find something to adore amongst the assortment but for the rest of us it simply is what it is.