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28 posts tagged "Coco Chanel"

Marc Jacobs Turns Back the Clock


Vuitton clock

What’s old is new, according to Marc Jacobs. Today, WWD ran a lengthy interview with the designer about his departure from Vuitton and his plans to take his own company public. But amid questions about Jacobs’ future, Bridget Foley inquired why, at his final show for Vuitton in Paris, did he decide to make the clock on his set run backward? “That was a very last-minute decision. I thought of Vivienne Westwood and World’s End. The clock in front of World’s End, the punk store on King’s Road, ran backwards,” explained Jacobs. “This was my cynical comment on everything that I had read from people like Cathy Horyn about what was new,” he continued. “I had just been so fed up with hearing what’s new and what’s modern and all that stuff. One has to define what new is…. And then I went back to that Chanel quote, “Only those with no memory insist on their originality.” So this thing of, like, there’s nothing wrong with looking back. Looking back creates something new, which is exactly what I felt we did…we made a new collection for Louis Vuitton by looking back.” Sometimes, you’ve just gotta turn back time to find the way.

Photo: Alessandro Garofalo/

The Allure of Chanel, As Illustrated By Karl


Allure of ChanelCoco Chanel once said, “Fashion should be discussed enthusiastically, and sanely, and, above all, without poetry, without literature.” With his latest creative effort, Karl Lagerfeld sets out to do just that. The Kaiser has extended his artistic talents to a special illustrated edition of Paul Morand’s The Allure of Chanel, a book that examines the philosophy of the French house by recounting conversations with Mademoiselle Coco herself. The updated version of Morand’s tome, which was originally published in 1976, includes Karl’s sketches of Coco in all her iconic glory—dripping in pearls and impeccably dressed. The good thing is: Unlike Lagerfeld’s Spring ’14 artistic endeavors, this one will fit on our coffee table.

Face Time With Coco Chanel


Marion Pike and Coco Chanel leaning on the artist's portrait of the designer

On September 5, the London College of Fashion’s Fashion Space Gallery will unveil a new exhibition dedicated to Mademoiselle Coco Chanel. Curated by LCF professor Amy de la Haye, the show will feature portraits of the designer by the late California artist Marion Pike.

According to the painter’s obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle, Chanel allegedly “refused” to sit for portraits by such luminaries as Pablo Picasso but willingly obliged for her friend Pike. The five canvases on display depict both Chanel’s impeccable taste and tacit intelligence—there’s a sharpness in those eyes, even though the designer first posed for Pike at the age of 84. Chanel also invited Pike to spend seven months observing her work in Paris. Afterward, the artist told the Los Angeles Times, “The atmosphere was frayed nerves, excitement, enthusiasm, frustration, gloom, and energy. It was watching the creation of art in its purest sense.” In her career, Pike also painted Ronald Reagan (that piece made the cover of Time in 1966) and Pope John Paul II.

A number of Chanel-designed couture pieces will complement the expo, courtesy of Pike’s daughter, Jeffie Pike Durham. The show will run until November 16.

Fashion Space Gallery is located at 20 John Princes Street in London.

Photo: Courtesy of Fashion Space Gallery

The Little Black Jacket, Unbuttoned


For Fall ’13 Karl Lagerfeld showed Chanel‘s classic black jacket in a host of hard-edged iterations—one of which featured X-shaped pockets on the chest. Indeed, Chanel’s little tweed coat has been through a lot since Mme. Coco first presented it in the 1950s. Originally designed to allow ease of movement and comfort, the jacket has been reimagined by Lagerfeld countless times since he took the house’s creative helm in 1983. He’s cropped it, cinched it, dyed it a rainbow of colors, and embellished it with everything from zippers to bows to fringe. However, Lagerfeld (who released a book about the luxe essential last year) seems to always ensure that his interpretations retain the essence of Gabrielle Chanel’s iconic design.

As part of an ongoing retrospective film series that Chanel has been running on its interactive Web site,, the house has released its fourth historical short. And it explores—what else?—the evolution of the little black jacket. Have a watch and learn why, as Lagerfeld claims, the only things that will always be in style are “jeans, a white shirt, and a Chanel jacket.”

Karl, King of Scots?


Thanks to Karl Lagerfeld’s penchant for destination runways—St. Tropez, Versailles, Shanghai—Chanel’s Métier d’Arts show, a lavish pre-fall catwalk romp that champions the ateliers owned by the house, like glove-maker Causse, embroidery house Maison Lesage, and milliner Maison Michel, will be staged in Scotland this season. At a grand fifteenth-century castle famed for housing the likes of Mary, Queen of Scots, no less. It’s no coincidence that Chanel chose to debut their pre-fall looks at Linlithgow Palace in West Lothian after acquiring the Scottish cashmere brand, Barrie Knitwear, which has worked with Chanel for over two decades.

According to the Telegraph, Chanel has started putting up tents and prepping the medieval fortress for the fashion set, although it’s rumored that the show itself, scheduled for December 4, will take place in the palace courtyard. As if the regal locale weren’t enough, the house has reportedly commissioned a custom-made glass roof to protect editors from the infamous Lowland cold.

While this marks Chanel’s first Scottish runway excursion, Mme. Chanel had a long relationship with the Highlands. In the twenties, they served as her favorite spot to canoodle with her lover, the Duke of Westminster, who owned a mansion in Rosehall. It was there that she famously dressed up in the duke’s fishing clothes and posed for a photo with her pal and business partner, Vera Bate Lombardi (above). This summer, it was announced that their country escape would be converted into a hotel after the completion of a £6 million renovation. It’s doubtful that Karl will pay a visit to Coco’s old stomping ground, but here’s hoping he’ll break out his famed full-length tartan kilt for the runway festivities.