A reception to celebrate the Sydney launch of a Chanel icon
By Natasha Inchley

Photo © Max Doyle

The wonderful thing about Chanel is that even its most basic propositions have a kick. Case in point is The Little Black Jacket, a house emblem created by Mademoiselle Coco Chanel that remains to this day so intrinsically cool as to warrant a touring exhibition and a weighty, regally bound tome on the subject.

Having previously staged in Tokyo, New York, Taipei, Hong Kong, London and Moscow, it was now Sydney’s turn to fete The Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s Classic Revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld on Thursday night, with scores of industry tastemakers, including models, actors and designers, turning out at Walsh Bay for a reception alongside the Harbour Bridge, at the very edge of the city’s shimmering moonlit waters.

Inside, the crowd packed into the darkened loft-like gallery space to take in Karl Lagerfeld’s portraits of “friends of the fashion house” donning the LBJ in their own style: from Yoko Ono, Alexa Chung and Sofia Coppola all balancing just the right combination of swagger and offhand chic, to Sarah Jessica Parker, Alice Dellal and Charlotte Gainsbourg conjuring up more rebellious monochromatic vibes. The body of work, which was styled by former French Vogue editor-in-chief Carine Roitfeld who also appears on the book’s cover, took Lagerfeld just a year to complete and highlights Chanel’s timeless legacy perfectly.

To add to the glamour, three of the subjects – actresses Anna Mouglalis and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey together with the singer Theophilus London – were also in attendance, making the viewing fabulously interactive, particularly when Anna Mouglalis and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey took to the dance floor, twirling and dipping in their couture confections. Above them, giant camellias and neon double C’s formed playful bouquets amidst balloons and glittering confetti. Meantime Theophilus London, whose photograph lends a masculine influence to the jacket, played a set late into the night.

The Little Black Jacket: Chanel's Classic Revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld is available through publishers Thames & Hudson in Australia.
The Little Black Jacket exhibition runs from October 27 to November 11, at Pier 2/3, 13 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay, Sydney.


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