The CHANEL Contemporary Art Container designed by Zaha Hadid opened its doors on October 20, 2008 at Rumsey Playfield, in the heart of Central Park and will stay until November 9th. This cultural event, which celebrates the intersection of contemporary art, architecture and fashion, was so highly anticipated by the New York crowd, curious to visit this exhibition housing over twenty original installations, that the free tickets were completely reserved within two days of being posted online.
Fall-Winter 2008/9 Ready-to-Wear: Harlem Shuffle
For this collection’s campaign, Claudia Schiffer gave up her legendary blonde hairstyle: Karl Lagerfeld was not afraid to turn her into a modern Louise Brooks, short black hair, snow white skin, lace stockings covering long legs, and a delicate 20’s look. The photo shoot took place in an authentic Harlem brownstone, still full of the historical atmosphere of the neighborhood, formerly dedicated to jazz music.
Karl Lagerfeld gave an enigmatic feel to this campaign by subtly combining a deserted apartment, with faded colors, and simple materials, and a winter collection voluntarily devoid of the accessories that traditionally symbolize the house of Chanel.
Karl Lagerfeld’s photographic attention focuses on the delicacy of the fabrics, the finesse of the pleats and the frills in a gentle and mysterious atmosphere, filled with intimate history. Claudia Schiffer is photographed as a sophisticated and discrete beauty, “an unpretentious vision of luxury” which is what Karl Lagerfeld wanted for this winter.
Rügen, an island in the baltic sea, shoot for German Vogue
Jeff Koons at the Château de Versailles, published in Vanity Fair Italy
In 1987, the first CHANEL watch is created and is simply called "Première." Its octagonal shape is what makes this watch original, and just like the cap on the N°5 bottle, it is a reminder of the geometrical shape of the Place Vendôme, seen from the windows of Mademoiselle Chanel's room at the Hotel Ritz.
This year, CHANEL launches the new version of this cult watch in ceramic, a luxurious, noble, smooth and light material. This new version still has the original hands and octagonal shaped case, it is fine and feminine, and has the same precious line as the discrete watches from the 1930’s.
This re-edition is available in two colors, black and white, four ceramic versions, steel and diamonds or ceramic, 18-carat white gold and diamonds.
For more information, visit the Fine Jewellery & Watches website on chanel.com.
The most surprising accessory of the next summer: a black acoustic guitar and its white quilted case.Karl Lagerfeld explains with a laugh: "Coco Chanel had an affair with Stravinsky, mine was with a guitar."
Spring-Summer 2009 Ready-to-Wear
The rue Cambon moves to the heart of the Grand Palais
For the 2009 Spring-Summer show, Karl Lagerfeld rebuilt the façade of 31 rue Cambon, under the huge skylight of the Grand Palais, on a one to one scale. There was one important change: the street, made famous by Mademoiselle Chanel, is no longer parallel to the house but faces it and leads to it. The designer explains: this spectacular decor is not an exact replica; it is an idealization, a conceptual reconstruction. The backdrop of the show is the movie set and the show is like a short movie with models playing the part of Parisian ladies. "It's just like a Hollywood view," says Karl Lagerfeld.
In 1921, Mademoiselle Chanel set up her house in the center of Paris, at 31 rue Cambon. Her two-storey apartment is still in this building: four rooms filled with meticulously well-preserved treasures. There are also the Haute Couture salons that Mademoiselle Chanel would use for her shows and which Karl Lagerfeld redesigned according to the original feel. The three Haute Couture ateliers remain at the top of the building.
An original Chanel stamped fishing kit, with its quilted leather case and double C flies: without doubt the most unexpected fall 2008 accessory offered by Karl Lagerfeld to fishing lovers. It fits naturally into the history of the fashion house, echoing Mademoiselle Chanel’s passions. She was one of the first women to take on horse riding, dancing and golf, and started creating “sporty” pieces for her collections as early as the twenties.
The perfectly elegant Duke of Westminster introduced her to the joys of fishing and took her on many cruises in Italy, Scotland and Norway to fish for salmon. She tells her friend Marcel Haedrich, French writer and reporter: “I have learnt how to fish for salmon (…) I used to find it extremely boring, spending days throwing flies to catch fish was really not my thing; but I started doing it, fished from dawn to 11 p.m, and loved it. I must say I was very lucky, I fished in the best seas.” (Coco Chanel by Marcel Haedrich, Belfond 1987, p.103)
Karl Lagerfeld's exhibition of photos of the Château de Versailles and its gardens has just ended, but his project continues. The designer and photographer intends to publish a book. The profit of the sales of this book will contribute to the restoration of this heritage. The success of this exhibition must have a true meaning in the subconscious of French history, which appreciates Karl Lagerfeld's original point of view. He focuses less on the well-known architectural splendor and the monarchic glory, and more on the sad sculptures, whirling alleys and the obscure ponds: the viewers of this vanished world locked in a silence of stone.