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When Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld took over the Ritz Paris and sent beauties like Mariacarla Boscono striding across the thick carpets in sophisticated French fashions, the Italian model in a sultry, fluted dress with a skirt composed of golden eyelash tinsel.

You must be convinced that you are the most beautiful and chicest woman in the world, Said Lagerfeld during a fitting on Monday for his latest Métiers d’Art collection. He dubbed it “Paris Cosmopolite” to evoke a time when elegant women from the world over converged on the mythic Place Vendôme hotel, established in 1898, the Ritz.

The soul of Paris and Gabrielle Chanel, the Ritz, and the Hemingway bar. This is the kind of Paris everyone would like to bring back. Karl confessed to fleeting references to the Twenties and Thirties, when the founding designer took up residence at the famous hotel a stone’s throw from her Rue Cambon headquarters.

Indeed, once Lagerfeld viewed Boscono’s finished dress, his mind flashed to a 1919 Man Ray photo of Denise Boulet, Paul Poiret’s wife, wearing a camisole and frothy skirt, a Brancusi bird sculpture behind her.

“An elegant inspiration from a faraway period but with very modern clothes,” Lagerfeld mused. “We live in another world. But you can make a collection that is an evocation in the modern spirit of today.”

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