Chanel's Little Black Jacket finally arrived in London last night with a glittering private opening party at the Saatchi Gallery, where the exhibition will remain until October 28.
Despite the pouring rain, London's finest showed up to see the exhibition celebrating Chanel's iconic black jacket. Set over 4 rooms, The Little Black Jacket consists of 113 black and white photographs shot by Karl Lagerfeld and styled by Carine Roitfeld, featuring some of the best known – and some perhaps a little more unknown - faces from the world of fashion, design, art and music, each wearing the jacket in their own individual ways.
The design of the jacket may be decades old, but at the party last night, it proved to be as current and fashionable as ever, with many of the invitees proudly sporting their Chanel jackets. The youngest guest of the evening, actress Chloë Moretz, proved that even at just 15 years old, there is simply no age limit to being able to wear a true classic, as she wore hers with simple black trousers and crisp white shirt. Other famous faces included Eva Herzigova, Yasmin Le Bon, Poppy Delevigne, Tallulah Harlech, Bip Ling, Henry Holland, Laura Bailey, Zaha Hadid, Lou Doillon and Noomi Rapace, to name a few, as well as appearances by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld.
Model Alice Dellal, with her trademark punk rock style considered a true London Girl, possibly embodies the versatility of the jacket the most. Wearing a simple white Chanel dress and jacket last night, her portrait in the exhibition personified just how this iconic piece always seems to adapt to the wearer. As she posed with her picture, her mother Andrea Dellal proudly looked at her daughter's picture and exclaimed: “See? A little black jacket works for everyone! There's never a bad way to wear it!”
And it's not just women who have been falling for Chanel's iconic jacket over the years, with many men featured in the show as well. Designer Haider Ackermann and actor Waris Ahluwalia, whose photographs are part of the exhibition, last night happily professed their love for the jacket.
The posters to take away proved to be a big hit with the guests, who queued to take home copies of the black and white photographs of Lily Donaldson, Georgia May Jagger and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey.
If there's one thing to learn from the Little Black Jacket, it is its timelessness and versatility. It simply seems to work for everyone – whatever your age, whatever your gender, whatever your style – a fact certainly visible both with the portraits as with the guests last night. A highlighted quote on a dark wall at the back of the exhibition explains its allure perfectly in just one sentence: “There are clothes which keep rejuvenating themselves instead of getting worn out.” The Little Black Jacket does exactly that. Go see it before it goes again!
The Little Black Jacket exhibition opening film, London, October 11th
Interviews by Elizabeth Von Guttman and Alexia Niedzielski
Lou Doillon "I.C.U"
2. "Devil Or Angel"
3. "Same Old Game"
4. "Questions And Answers"
5. "Make A Sound"
6. "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" (The Clash)
80th anniversary of the "bijoux de diamants" collection originally created by Gabrielle Chanel
New York, October 9th
Chanel showed the world more than just its take on fashion: the Spring-Summer 2013 collection presented at the Grand Palais on Tuesday morning was set amidst a field of wind turbines, and could have easily been a statement on going green!
With breezy, natural looks, unrestrained youth, mobility, understated luxury, empathy towards others and inventiveness, the show was a whimsical way to pass on a message for the fall of 2012: the winds of change are blowing with alternative energies and fresh new fashions!
Is Chanel poised to join American essayist Jeremy Rifkin, the third industrial revolution theorist who advocates for a low carbon economy?
The models walked the runway in looks flooded with fresh color: a purple pantsuit with a three-quarter sleeve jacket trimmed in emerald, a Klein blue suit and sack dress, a pink and mauve satin dress and pants ensemble, a crimson loose-fitting mid-length soft leather jacket, a sand-colored strapless washed lambskin micro-dress, and a stunning series of evening dresses in satiny brown with quilted effects that showcased transparency and fluidity.
The multi-colored version of the house's signature tweed (a textile “tour de force”) was an apotheosis of color, and looked absolutely stunning on a leg-o-mutton sleeve top and bubble dress ensemble trimmed in fuchsia. It was simply explosive with an ultra-colorful version used for a luxurious, striking shorts-jacket ensemble with puff sleeves, as well as a short loose-fitting dress with three-quarter sleeves embroidered with bronze sequins mid-thigh ("a strange golden bronze color," as Homer describes the island of Stromboli, Kingdom of Aeolus, in the Odyssey). Arrayed in an endless palette of summer colors, this tweed proved powerful in its visual impact.
Finally, white took to the runway with Peter Pan collars (a favorite of Gabrielle Chanel), Pierrot collars and a floppy bow on the front of a crewneck dress, as well as a tweed and white poplin polo dress, for an updated Suzanne Lenglen-at-Eden Roc look. White was also seen in the evening series with incredibly fresh and refined summer evening looks: white strapless dresses (two short and three long) in mesh or piqué, embellished with Rhodoid plastic flowers or pearls.
The silhouette for summer 2013 is long and slim (seen in Chanel's incredible use of black mesh for a pants set that is as elegant as it is graphic and sensual), and borders on androgynous, a classic attribute of the Chanel woman. Waists are cinched, perfect for strapless dresses (the highlight of this collection), mini-boleros and micro-jackets. Mile-long legs create symmetry and are showcased by micro-shorts and miniskirts while bubble dresses show off the ankles.
The collection's accessories are a perfect blend of timeless Chanel style and modernity: chunky, clustered "caviar effect" pearl bracelets and necklaces and oversized sun hats with transparent colored plastic brims.
Karl Lagerfeld has clearly designed and created a silhouette for a more youthful woman with greater impetuosity and sensuality who will be flawlessly carried by "a favorable gale, a fresh West Wind" (Homer) into summer.
Celebrities at the Spring-Summer 2013 Ready-to-Wear show
Grand Palais, Paris, October 2nd
Photos by Delphine Achard
1. "Tick Of The Clock"
3. "I Want Your Love"
4. "Running Up That Hill"
5. "Kill For Love"
Photo © Delphine Achard