BY KENNETH GOH
A little more Chanel stardust has descended on Singapore - just 6 months after Karl Lagerfeld showed Chanel's Cruise collection 2013 at Loewen Cluster earlier this year.
This time round, the magical star dust came in the form of Chanel's classic jacket - black, beautiful and breath-taking. The Little Black Jacket, a photographic book on Chanel's classic revisited by the power duo of Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld, was turned into a photographic exhibition at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands, opening on the 8th November 2013.
The museum is one of the most architecturally unique buildings in Singapore. Designed by Moshe Safdie, the architecture is said to be in the form of a lotus flower, with each of its ten "petals" holding various gallery spaces within the Museum. It is also the world's first ArtScience museum. A cavernous space, with over 21 galleries totalling 50 000 square feet, the ArtScience museum sits on the waterfront of the prestigious Marina Bay Sands, right in the heart of the city.
Following on from major cities like Tokyo, New York, London, Paris, Milan, Beijing and Shanghai, Singapore's exhibition (which runs through till the 1st January 2014) presents a whole new feel to the images, underscoring Chanel's values of creativity and modernity. Pictures have been blown up in sizes unseen before and manipulated in ways that blend colour, texture and a clever play of shadow and light in powerful combinations.
Housed deep beneath the ArtScience Museum, at the very root and heart of Singapore's new iconic monument, 3 enormous exhibition halls were turned into one cavernous space to house all 129 celebrities that Karl Lagerfeld shot for the latest edition of The Little Black Jacket (published July 2013). 22 new celebrities were shot for the second edition of the book, to add to the 107 celebrities he initially photographed for the first edition, published in September, 2012.
Karl Lagerfeld's photographs illustrate the versatility and timelessness of the iconic Chanel jacket. With celebrities as diverse as the laughing Sarah Jessica Parker, with her jacket turned into a flamboyant "crown", to the wimple created for Supermodel Freja Beja Erichsen, Karl Lagerfeld's creative direction made every picture arresting and idiosyncratic, with each celebrity adapting the garment to reflect their own inimitable style.
One of the most interesting exhibits includes a short movie of Yoko Ono, moving to the beat of her own drum and creating a rhythm that only someone as free-spirited and eccentric can do.
The exhibition in Singapore has the addition of 22 new celebrities captured on silk screen, on a wall of it's own. Not all were dressed in black, with arch angel Keira Knightley, ravishing as a couture angel, looking celestial in her white jacket and couture gown, as if descending upon the crowd from the heavens. China's Supermodel Sun Fei Fei went all Oriental as a dowager in an extravagant head dress festooned with Chanel camellias, a dragon embroidered qi pao and some dangerous metallic nails in a homage to the Middle Kingdom. Super blogger, Han Huo Huo, did his own rendition, dark and mysterious with just a smudge of kohl around the eyes for melancholy. A separate room has 4 enormous fire engraved glass portraits, one in each colour of the element. Keira Knightly in heavenly white. Sun Fei Fei in brilliant gold (Yellow being the colour of kings in ancient China), Chinese actress Zhou Xun in majestic red (the traditional Chinese colour to symbolise luck and prosperity) and Han Huo Huo in mysterious blue.
Fabulous was the night, and fantastic was the exhibition. Add in Future Fashion Fun, and you have The Little Black Jacket all wrapped up in this Lion City.
Kenneth Goh, Creative Director, Harper's Bazaar Singapore