CHANEL NEWS

coco-chanel-on-the-big-screen
coco-chanel-on-the-big-screen

Coco chanel on the big screen

Two feature films dedicated to her life will be coming out this year: “Coco before Chanel”, a movie by Anne Fontaine staring Audrey Tautou, and “Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky”, directed by Jan Kounen with Anna Mouglalis as Mademoiselle Chanel during her relationship with one of the most influential composers of the XXth century.

Photo: Mademoiselle Chanel in Biarritz, France © TopFoto / Roger-Viollet

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Vilhelm hammershoi

The inspiration for the Spring-Summer 2009 Ready-to-Wear campaign

A Danish painter from the early 20th Century, Vilhelm Hammershoi, is the inspiration for the Spring-Summer 2009 campaign. Karl Lagerfeld has a passion for the low-key interiors of this artist who was keen to swathe everyday life in stillness and silence. All his recurring motifs: empty apartments, urban scenes and portraits systematically call to mind a closed world where melancholy and emptiness, common themes that can be found throughout his work, reign. This world focuses all its attention on a single window with no curtains or catches, usually in the background of the picture, the only source of light reduced to just a few rays of hazy, filtered sunshine.

Similarities can be seen with photography of the time, taken in black and white and then colored in. When asked in an interview about his neutral color choices, his dull pallet of shades of grey and brown, Vilhelm Hammershoi said “I’m utterly convinced that a painting has the best effect in terms of its color the fewer colors there are.”

Hammershoi never allowed himself to be influenced by the artistic revolutions of his time. He carefully kept his distance, limiting himself to a small number of subjects and found his inspiration in 17th century Dutch painting.
What’s more, it is only recently that we are rediscovering the modernity of his paintings, contemporaries of the birth of photography and cinema. The similarity between photography and painting gives Hammershoi’s work an ambivalent character and an astonishingly modern feel.

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las-vegas

Las vegas - new chanel boutique

This new Chanel boutique is located between two Las Vegas palaces: the Hotel Wynn and the Hotel Encore. With its gold and beige interior, it is an homage to Mademoiselle Chanel's 31 rue Cambon apartment.

The American architect Peter Marino avoided the kitch clichés of Las Vegas by following a certain rigor and a simple geometry inspired by the 30's, perpetuating the elegant style of Chanel. The boutique also includes an area entirely dedicated to exotic leather handbags. For the opening, the window installation was based on Paris-Moscou, the latest Métiers d'Art collection.

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« pop-up » décor

Spring-Summer 2009 Haute Couture

Underneath the glass roof of the Cambon-Capucines pavilion was like a giant pop-up book made of white paper. The grandiose décor was made up of monochrome arrangements of roses, daisies, leaves and petals winding their way up and around the room’s 32 impressive columns and draped over the railings of the entry stairway where the models appeared. Not to mention the 84 round tables with their tablecloths and paper bouquets. All in all, there were 7000 handmade paper flowers, which took a total of 4800 hours of work to assemble. 4000 m2 of paper were needed to create these ephemeral sculptures, all in one color, or more aptly the non-color of preference for Mlle Chanel: “Women think about all colors, except the absence of color. For me black has everything. So does white. They are absolute beauty. They are the perfect match. Dress a woman in white or in black at a ball and all eyes will be upon her.”

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Guests at the show

Spring-Summer 2009 Haute Couture

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monochrome-white

Monochrome white

Spring-Summer 2009 Haute Couture

The last Chanel Haute Couture collection is like a new beginning: “A white page,” says Karl Lagerfeld, “a linear and timeless graphic interpretation. It’s like a starting point for the story of this new era, for which all the details still need to be written. That is why I chose paper as the theme for the couture collection this season.” The strong connection between Karl Lagerfeld and this theme gives this collection its intensity, “It’s also the fabric that I prefer most… I love paper! Everything begins on paper. Without paper I would be lost!”

This collection is minimal and extremely sophisticated. All of the luxurious details, from the embroidery to the fabric, are more suggested than overt. “It’s the new modesty” according to Karl Lagerfeld. These pure, graphic silhouettes often combine two elements: a short top and a straight skirt, both highlighted by lightness and fluidity. The skirts have discrete slits. The removable cap sleeves conceal the shoulders and allow for freedom of movement.

This monochrome collection is first and foremost a “game of lines and shapes,” continues the designer. Underneath the geometry and purity of the cuts, it’s the floral explosion of the embroidery and the minute details that discretely color this collection. The floral theme is found in the white roses and daisies, with embroidered flowers and petals from the ateliers of Lemarié and Lesage. It is also the inspiration for the sumptuous hairpieces that the Japanese artist Katsuya Kamo created for the collection. “There is something similar between a flower petal and a sheet of paper” says Karl Lagerfeld.

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Making of the spring-summer 2009 ready-to-wear campaign

A house in Vermont

As soon as Karl Lagerfeld saw the house in Vermont he knew he had found the setting for the next Chanel ad campaign. It is a typical New England wooden house, set on the banks of Lake Champlain, with a severe and puritan look that makes it seem like the house has been frozen in the mid 19th century. As the designer put it: "I love this house, it is so Emily Dickinson", referring to the tormented romanticism of the American poet from Massachusetts whose work went unrecognised during her lifetime.

It was in the empty rooms of this vast six-bedroom house that the designer photographed Heidi Mount - the 21 year old American model from Salt Lake City who opened the Spring-Summer 2009 Ready-to-Wear show.

Karl Lagerfeld has also said that the campaign shots are inspired by the work of the Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershoi, whose austere interiors with sunlight flooding in through the sash windows are the backdrop for silent feminine meditations.

paris-moscou
paris-moscou

Paris-moscou - Key silhouette of the collection

For this season's Métiers d'Art collection, dedicated to the link between Paris and Moscow, Karl Lagerfeld was inspired by early 20th century Russian pictorial avant-garde. Virginie Viard, the Creative Studio Director at Chanel, and Karl Lagerfeld's right-hand woman, selected and decoded the details of a key silhouette from the collection, "this black taffeta dress plays with the contrast between geometrical beveled architecture and the delicacy of tulle frills.

The magnificent embroidered piece, made by the Atelier Lesage (over 110 hours of work) is directly inspired by Liobov Popova's painting, "Painterly Architectonics, 1918-19". On the shoulders, the black ottoman coat is cut at the waist for greater freedom of movement. Its volume is also a reminder of constructivist architecture. The shearling shapka, made by the Maison Michel, is rimmed with bead fringes and a minutely detailed golden crown. I would say that this silhouette connects the two faces of Moscow: the splendor of a prestigious heritage and the boldness of the aesthetic revolution."
The painting that inspired this dress is part of the exhibition "Russian Avant-Garde in the Costakis collection" at the Musée Maillol in Paris, until March 2nd 2009.

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The first movie by karl lagerfeld

"COCO 1913 - CHANEL 1923"

At a time when several movies about Mademoiselle Chanel’s life are being made, Karl Lagerfeld adds his personal touch by directing his first movie for the Paris-Moscou show. The designer was behind every detail: from the script to the set, as well as the casting and the editing.

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