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August 30 2014

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29 posts tagged "Coco Chanel"

Karl, King of Scots?

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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.

Have Your Coco And Wear It Too

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Just try to find a picture of Coco Chanel without her signature strands of pearls—it’s not an easy task. The woman certainly loved her little black jackets and dresses, but she also had a well-known penchant for jewelry. In honor of what would be the designer’s 129th birthday (August 19), 1stdibs.com is launching an online birthday capsule collection sale of Chanel jewelry and accessories. Starting tomorrow at 3 p.m., over 60 necklaces, sautoirs, brooches, bracelets, and earrings dating from the sixties through 2008, curated by Douglas Rosin Decorative Arts & Antiques, will be for sale on the site. Especially of note in the collection (ranging in price from $500 to $5,000) are the designs adorned with colored stones and faux pearls, made by the Paris-based specialists at Gripoix (which handmade a great deal of Chanel’s jewelry). Here, a first look at one of the Gripoix pieces in the sale.

Photo: 1stdibs.com

Putting Off The Ritz

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Style.com contributing editor and party reporter Darrell Hartman circles the city and, occasionally, the globe in the line of duty. In a new column, he reports on the topics—whatever they may be at whatever given moment—that are stirring the social set.

As usual at the most recent Paris Couture collections, there were openings—including a big one for Louis Vuitton’s haute joaillerie store on Place Vendôme. But this time around, there was a major closing, too. As just about everyone knows by now, the Ritz is shutting its doors at the end of July. Not forever, just for two years and change. Of course, to a lot of fashion people, that is forever.

“Everybody’s talking about it,” Claire Courtins-Clarins told me at the Louis Vuitton party. We were, incidentally, at the Ritz; Vuitton had booked the hotel’s pool room for one last go-round. The Atelier Versace show had happened there two nights before—poignantly, considering it was Gianni Versace’s old venue. (That’s Gianni, below, with the usual clatch of supermodels backstage at the Ritz during one of his Couture shows.) Immediately after Donatella’s runway came down, a VIP section went up, for an after-party with a performance by M.I.A.

If the hotel owes its place in the fashion annals to anyone, however, it’s Coco Chanel. The designer lived there from 1934 until 1971, albeit on the less glamorous Rue Cambon side. “Poor Chanel, I use the front door of the Ritz, she must use the back,” Elsa Schiaparelli liked to snipe. Continue Reading “Putting Off The Ritz” »

Prada and “Schiap”: The Conversations Begin

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Today in Milan, the fashion set got a glimpse of some of the Schiaparelli and Prada pieces that will be on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations exhibition, opening May 10. How does one make an impossible conversation between two great designers from different eras possible? Curators Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton dug through Prada’s archive, as well as the Costume Institute’s collection and private collections, and culled 90 designs and 30 accessories by the two Italian female designers to demonstrate the arresting affinities between their work (Elsa Schiaparelli from the late twenties to early fifties, Miuccia Prada from the late eighties to the present). Take note, these are the first female designers to be the centerpiece of the annual exhibition since Coco Chanel in 2005.

The “conversation” plays out in seven themes, starting with “Waist/Waist Down” (which includes a 1937 black and white Schiaparelli number worn by Madonna’s latest film subject, Wallis Simpson, sitting next to a very similar recent look from Prada). It continues with “Ugly Chic,” “Naif Chic,” “The Classical Body,” “The Exotic Body,” and finally, “The Surreal Body.” The galleries featuring iconic ensembles by the designers are paired with videos, directed by Baz Luhrmann, with made-up conversations between the two women (the idea for these “impossible conversations” was inspired by a Vanity Fair series of unimaginable exchanges in the thirties). Here, a few images from the exhibition.

Photos: Courtesy of Teh Metropolitan Museum of Art

To The Cosmos And Back At The Haute Joaillerie Collections

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Coco Chanel launched her house’s fine jewelry collection in 1932, holding an exposition de bijoux de diamants for two weeks in November on the Faubourg Saint-Honoré. (The diamond Franges necklace above was in the original collection.) “Reason prompted me, initially, to create faux jewelry because I find it free of arrogance in an era of facile luxury,” Chanel explained. “This consideration vanishes in a period of financial crisis, when there arises an instinctive desire for authenticity in all things, which brings amusing junk back to its rightful place.”

You don’t have to look far for amusing junk—or a financial crisis—in our own day and age. As part of Paris’ haute couture week, the fine jewelry houses, including Chanel, Dior, and Van Cleef & Arpels, offered some very authentic options to discerning buyers, in new collections referencing past glories. Style.com’s Tina Isaac reports.

Coco Chanel loved a good talisman, and she decked her private apartment with an array of lucky frogs, sheaves of wheat, and special-order double-Cs and 5s for her chandelier overhead. But she was especially proud of being a Leo. And so for the first time, a lion jewel is set to appear chez Chanel as part of 1932, an 80-piece collection marking 80 years since the house entered the world of high jewelry.

In the meantime, the house previewed a selection of jewels based on iconic Chanel symbols, including a new rendition of the Comète necklace in titanium, white gold, and 85 carats of diamonds, as well as shooting star rings, bracelets, and necklaces. Among the standouts: the stunning Céleste brooch, a rendering of the cosmos anchored by a 79-carat baroque gray pearl.

Dior Joaillerie will launch an iconic new jewelry line during the Paris collections to accompany a lush compendium published by Rizzoli, so consider this display an aperitif: Incroyables et Merveilleuse earrings rendered as pendants, a Rose Dior Bagatelle ring in rubies and diamonds, and rose quartz renditions of the Pré Catelan ring and necklace.

A favorite of Wallis and Jackie, Van Cleef & Arpels is a doyenne of the Place Vendôme—and it’s got a major retrospective in the works at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs set for September. By way of a prelude, the house displayed a handful of birds of various sizes and colors, dating from the 1920′s to the 1960′s, the forebears of the brightly plumed Birds of Paradise, 2012 vintage. More abstract now than in the past, the new jewelry collection is informed by sweeping arabesques on necklaces and a number of colorful between-the-finger rings, such as a Bird of Paradise circling a ruby. “Mismatched” earrings with different colored stones in each ear, and a cascading necklace of turquoise beads culminating in a gem-encrusted parrot swinging on his perch, rounded out the new collection.

CLICK HERE FOR A SLIDESHOW of some of the key looks from the current haute joaillerie collections, as well as key archival pieces that inspired the new lines.

Photo: Courtesy of Chanel