by Alexander Fury .

Couture Look VI - Dress, shoes and gloves by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel Haute Couture

After expounding on the craft of couture (for which, in case you were wondering, I have something of a peccadillo) it feels fitting that Ming's latest couture outfit comes from the house of Chanel. In recent years, Chanel have devoted time and money not only to creating their own haute couture, but to preserving the industry as a whole: the company have bought six of the oldest ateliers in Paris, who supply goods and skills to the haute couture. These include the embroidery workshop of Lesage; shoemaker Massaro; Lemarié, a specialist house who supply the perfect plumage for the haute couture and create exquisite flowers; the millinery mason Michel; Desrues, a button and costume jewellery maker; and most recently, Goosens, a goldsmith and silversmith. Lagerfeld designs a special collection, known as the 'Satellite' collection, to showcase their extraordinary skills - but his couture collections themselves are packed with these ateliers' output - gilding the lily, so to speak. Well, actually, Lagerfeld's lilies are less gilded, more embroidery-encrusted, feather-tufted, and fastened up with a few glittering, jewelled buttons for good measure. This gown, the finale piece of the show, takes the Chanel suit as its basis, for a trompe l'oeil tweed created from minuscule glass beads and sequins, and voluminous chiffon skirt as weightless as the Lemarié feathers that circle its expansive hem.