July 31st, 2014Par Jean Lebrun
When it comes to the history of fashion, there are some people we can know inside and out - for example, Jean Patou, who died prematurely, had his archives carefully preserved, classified and communicated: Emmanuelle Polle was able to research these archives in 2013 and summarize the essentials in a single book.
Legend has it that during their lifetime, Patou and Chanel could not stand to be in the same room together. In terms of history, legend is once again correct. Chanel is of a completely different kind than Patou. She left behind many footsteps but very few written sources, as she herself would become lost in the maze of her constantly reinvented memories: we are perhaps the ninety-fifth to publish a book about her, and with each new work that emerges, the picture becomes even fuzzier, and the essence of who she is escapes us even more.
This project, entitled "Notre Chanel" (Our Chanel), was written in attempt to surpass this difficulty by recounting what Gabrielle meant to two men, Bernard and Jean, who investigated her life nearly a quarter century ago. One of these men has since passed. The other has reopened the case, but has endeavored not to produce yet another biography. Rather, this work is like a stained glass window – a lateral stained glass window – in which Bernard and Jean contemplate in the corner reserved for the faces of donors, yet are unable to reach the face that brought them together through a task never completed. It is a window in which Gabrielle is most certainly not depicted as a saint, but rather as a magical fairy-like being: a ray of her glory suddenly falls on Bernard, who was lost to us too early, and he, who was forgotten, finds some light shed on his path.
"Notre Chanel” (Our Chanel), Jean Lebrun, Bleu autour.
July 25th, 2014
July 25th, 2014
Photo from the Fall-Winter Ready-to-Wear campaign by Karl Lagerfeld with models Cara Delevingne and Binx Walton.
Collection available in boutiques in September.
July 23rd, 2014
Sam Taylor-Johnson’s photographic exhibition of the private apartment of Mademoiselle Chanel, "Second Floor", will open at Saatchi Gallery in London on Friday September 12th 2014 until Saturday October 4th. The series of 45 photographs captures the private rooms of Mademoiselle Chanel at 31 rue Cambon in Paris.
"Shooting at Coco Chanel’s apartment was an unexpectedly absorbing experience," says Taylor‑Johnson. "The essence of Chanel is firmly rooted there in all of her possessions and I truly believe that her spirit and soul still inhabit the second floor."
Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ King's Road
London, SW3 4RY
July 17th, 2014
July 16th, 2014
Karl Lagerfeld presents the Fall-Winter 2014/15 pre‐collection in the short film “Private View”. Featuring Amanda Harlech and models Jamie Bochert, Lindsey Wixson, Soo Joo and Nadja Bender.
See the collection on chanel.com
July 16th, 2014
Clip from the singer's concert on July 9th held at the Trianon venue in Paris.
"Love Song" (Live). Composer/Author: Benjamin Biolay. Author/Performed by: Vanessa Paradis. Producer: Bamabi Rose, Bliss Music. Label: Universal Barclay. Mixed by Dominique Brusson, assisted by Thomas Poli, at Impersonal Freedom Studio (Rennes).
July 16th, 2014
First impressions gathered after the Fall-Winter 2014/15 Haute Couture show in Paris.
Interviews by Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni
July 13th, 2014
July 11th, 2014Par Anne Berest
The bride treads over the immaculate ground in her sandals - entering the Grand Palais as if it was a church. The gold sandals are flat but her dress is huge.... with an endless train. Ashleigh Good takes each step forward almost barefoot, like a virgin dressed in white. She gives a slight turn to grant spectators a view of her pure, pale face, like a modern day Virgin Mary.
And suddenly, before wide-eyed spectators, a dramatic bump appears: the bride is pregnant! Her belly, like a full moon, is enhanced by the movements of the white fabric - an Empress-style dress in neoprene.
A pregnant woman in a virginal dress: it is a striking statement. This is how Karl Lagerfeld concludes the Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2014/2015 fashion show. It is not a question of "provocation" but rather the idea of "provoking something". Whether it be surprise, questioning or emotion. What does it say to us? That life is surprising, with the unexpected constantly springing up around every corner. And most importantly, that a woman's forms cannot be fully erased. It takes curves to give life. On the arm of the fashion designer, the bride transformed into the metaphor of creation: that of an impending birth.
It is difficult to say why the sudden view of a dress can sweep you away and resonate deep within you. It is a combination of a thousand things, conscious and buried - because a dress in reality is a thousand dresses. And this morning, Karl Lagerfeld's bride was a thousand women.
She was Mary Magdalene, the sinful woman. She was the medieval bride painted by Van Eyck, with her skin skimming sleeves emphasizing the fragility of the arm. She was the Empress Josephine, crowned by her husband, revealing her graceful white dress adorned with gold embroidery and lined with ermine. But above all, she was the Italian Renaissance Woman, throat bare, a cone-shaped torso refining the waist. A clear, natural line liberating the silhouette of the woman, giving the torso the majestic shape of a triangle.
Going back through the ages, the wedding dress worn by Ashleigh Good was nevertheless an absolute innovation. Made of neoprene, the material used for diving suits, this fabric allows the dress to be sculpted on a mold, without sewing it. "Seamless Haute Couture"... is that not the ultimate sophistication? Yes, an incredible delicacy, which consists in erasing every form of intervention to create a dress as perfect as the skin of a newborn baby.
Anne Berest is a writer. She is the author of "Sagan 1954", published by Stock, and co-author of "How to be a Parisian. Love, Style and Bad Habits" to be published by Double Day next September.
Photo by Benoit Peverelli