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.
After Hong Kong and Tokyo, the futuristic pavilion built by Zaha Hadid for CHANEL will arrive in New York on October 20th.
This itinerant contemporary art exhibition will open its doors to the public in the heart of Central Park, on the Rumsey Playfield, just by 70th Street. Karl Lagerfeld did not choose this location randomly. Central Park is the only gigantic natural space, where one can take a walk and breathe in a city that is dedicated to the “culture of congestion”: condensed architecture, rationalization, repetition, systematism, verticality… The flawless and organic architecture of the Mobile Art pavilion will encounter the park’s natural design and contrast with the New York architecture that comes out through the foliage.
Coincidentally, the opening of Mobile Art in New York will take place at the same time as the park's 150th anniversary. The exhibition admission is free upon request via Internet. The New York edition of “CHANEL Mobile Art” magazine will be given to each visitor.
For more information, visit www.chanel-mobileart.com
Here is a sneak preview of selected images of the “Starting Point 2009“, the beginning of the Spring-Summer collection: a very chic “Uptown New York”…
(In stores this January)
Organ pipesFor this season's haute couture collection, the designer conceived a central burst of tubes as tall as 105 feet under the majestic glass ceiling of the Grand Palais. "One day, he says, I was at a piano concert given by Helene Arnault and Brigitte Engerer... It all started then. It is the organ buffet at the Salle Gaveau that inspired me." For Karl Lagerfeld, the fashion show's set is extremely important; It is more than a simple illustration or prolongation of the collection's theme, it is a true architectural proposition. The power, the strength, and the originality of this effort add a whole new dimension to the show, as the architecture connects the fashion to the show's music.
After Hong Kong, Mobile Art opened its doors in Tokyo. The pavilion that Zaha Hadid designed to welcome a contemporary art exhibition was set up in the center of the capital, on the site of the National Yoyogi Stadium, which was built by architect Kenzo Tange for the 1964 Olympic Games. The choice of this location is no coincidence; it allows a strong visual dialogue between 60’s Japanese utopian architecture and Zaha Hadid’s ultra-contemporary signature: fluid shapes, organic lines, and volumes without heaviness. After the Pavilion’s surprising arrival and the magic of its incredibly rapid construction (less than one month), Mobile Art has merged into Tokyo’s urban chaos, full of accidents, stylistic breakups, and clashes between extreme modernity and tradition.