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29 posts tagged "Coco Chanel"

Bettina Returns for Milan Fashion Week



Coinciding with the start of Milan fashion week, 10 Corso Como’s Galleria Carla Sozzani will pay homage to French model Simone Micheline Bodin, the crown jewel mannequin of postwar couture in France.

The exhibit, aptly titled Bettina, a moniker given to her by Jacques Fath, who also suggested she chop her long red locks in favor of a short crop, will feature more than 100 images signed by legendary photographers like Jean-Philippe Charbonnier, Henry Clarke, Erwin Blumenfeld, and Irving Penn.

Once called “the most photographed French woman in France,” Bettina was the archetypal model of the mid-20th century Le Tout-Paris, working with the likes of Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, and Hubert de Givenchy, who named his very first collection after her.

The exhibit, which will also feature a catalog of the legendary photographs, will run from September 16 to November 2.

Photo: Jean-Philippe Charbonnier/Gamma Rapho

Fifty Shades of Grey Director Sam Taylor-Johnson Takes Us Inside Coco Chanel’s Paris Pad



If you’ve always dreamed of touring Coco Chanel’s apartment on 31 rue Cambon, you’re in luck. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson, who just wrapped Fifty Shades of Grey, recently took up residence inside the designer’s home to shoot Second Floor, a set of 45 images that will debut at London’s Saatchi Gallery in September. According to The Telegraph, the exhibit will be everything we could hope for—and more. “Shooting at Coco Chanel’s apartment was an unexpectedly absorbing experience,” said Taylor-Johnson. “The essence of Chanel is firmly rooted there in all of her possessions, and I truly believe that her spirit and soul still inhabit the second floor.” We get pretty spiritual when we talk about Chanel, too.

Save for a few special guests, the apartment has long been a mystery to the public, so it’s going to be exciting to see Coco’s chandelier with rock-crystal camellias; leather-bound editions of Shakespeare, Voltaire, and Byron; and the white satin armchair in which she sat for a Horst photograph in 1937 (above). “The apartment is beautifully stylish,” said Taylor-Johnson. “It feels like she had meticulously chosen every object.” And in case you were wondering—no. None of those curated objects are whips.

Second Floor will be on view September 12 to 22 at the Saatchi Gallery, London, and will be accompanied by a book.

Photo: Horst P. Horst

Tim Blanks on Karl Lagerfeld’s Lasting Impact at Chanel



It goes without saying that everyone loves Chanel. The numbers alone prove it: Season after season, Chanel is the number one most-viewed show on But few really know Chanel’s history beyond Coco’s “little black dress” and white camellias. We can thank Karl Lagerfeld for the brand’s incredible staying power, and in this week’s Throwback Thursdays video, Tim Blanks revisits the Kaiser’s first collections for the storied house. To this day, Lagerfeld tirelessly brings Chanel’s codes into the future; he is always thinking about the new and now. Blanks refers to Lagerfeld as “fashion’s superhero,” and we can’t say we’ve heard a better comparison. Watch the full video here.

Where Fashion Jewelry Is Concerned, Goossens Gets It



Jewelry house Goossens has collaborated with all the most important designers of the past sixty-odd years. Its most enduring association, though, is its relationship with Gabrielle Chanel. Now a part of the Chanel mother ship, the house continues to revisit the kind of jewelry Mademoiselle favored, both in terms of spirit and technique (though, to be clear, Goossens does not produce Chanel’s fashion jewelry).
This fall, the brand’s managing director, Patrick Goossens, returns to some of the styles Mademoiselle loved most. For instance, he paired the largest freshwater pearls he could find with rose quartz and pink rock crystal on a sautoir from the Essentiels line. His ongoing fascination with Indian themes is reflected in an imposing Taj Mahal bracelet and earrings in smoky or blue poured glass. These wares offer a convincing imitation of Indian-cut diamonds and cabochons. (Fortunately, however, these are far lighter on the lobes and the wallet than they appear.)

Still, any heritage house must modernize for a new generation—and that is where fall’s headline comes in. With its new range of accessibly priced “mixed” jewelry designed to appeal to both men and women, Goossens is reaching out to a younger, edgier customer. Take, for example, slim gold-plated bangles and rings that snap closed with a top hinge; crystal pendants that rotate (an idea carried over from last season’s Rune collection); and twin bracelets that can be left to jangle on the arm or, thanks to a clever clip, be worn as one piece. That last detail actually caters to the noise-sensitive guys out there. “All men hate jangling,” Goossens admits. “I’m always telling my wife to stop.”

It’s a big move, but Goossens feels the time is right. “We’ve really gotten to the roots of fashion jewelry as I see it,” Goossens concludes. “The trick is to express a maximum of things with a minimum of elements, without losing sight of who we are.”

Photo: Courtesy Photo 

Coco and Karl: The Opera


Karl Lagerfeld Opera

We’ve always revered the house of Chanel on a borderline-religious level, but director Robert Carsen took Coco and Karl’s divinity-like qualities a bit more literally. In Carsen’s new adaptation of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s famous comic opera Platée, a Karl look-alike (think white ponytail, slim black suit, leather pants, and fluffy pet cat) plays the devious Jupiter, and a woman in tweed—a riff on Coco—plays Juno, his jealous wife.

According to WWD, the satire dates back to the 18th century and was inspired by the marriage of Louis, Dauphin of France, and Infanta Maria Teresa of Spain, who was evidently no beauty queen. To quell Juno’s raging jealousy, Jupiter descends to Earth (on the famous mirrored staircase from Chanel HQ, to boot) and pretends to flirt with Platée, an ugly water nymph. Initially outraged, Juno realizes Jupiter would never fall for Platée—who truly believes Jupiter loves her. Jupiter and Juno reconcile and return to Olympus, leaving lowly Platée on Earth to despair in her misfortune.

While we can’t imagine Coco and Karl could ever be so cruel (or could they?), we wouldn’t mind seeing their wicked antics onstage. The Franco-Austrian production premiered in Vienna last week, is running in Paris through Sunday, and will come to New York’s Lincoln Center on April 2.

Photo: Monika Rittershaus via WWD