May 3rd, 2015
Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is host to Tower Infinity – the world’s first 'invisible' skyscraper, thanks to advanced technology able to reflect images in real time. One of the world’s largest metropolises, with over 25 million inhabitants and lightning-fast internet connections, Seoul is a symbol of modernity, at once a World Design Capital and one of the most committed green cities. It was recently awarded WWF’s global Earth Hour City Challenge prize, and was recognized by the UN in 2014 for its efforts in climate action, such as encouraging businesses and citizens alike to use renewable energy.
Yet such modernity does not exclude spirituality. Alongside high-tech developments, the religions of Buddhism, Confucianism and shamanism remain part of South Korea’s make-up. No building is built without a ritual appealing to the benevolence of the spirits, while widespread belief in the philosophy of yin and yang is reflected in the design of South Korea’s flag and inspired the region’s traditional hues of blue, white, red, black and yellow. Vivid tokens of luck offering divine protection thus color everyday items, from traditional costumes inspired by the Chôzon dynasty (1392-1910) – dubbed 'Hanbok' – to the faces of young brides, who mark their cheeks with two red dots. A love of nature is another component of the national identity. Koreans can often be found hiking in the mountains, kitted out in the latest sports gear, or walking the 6km (3.7 mile) greenway along the redeveloped banks of the Cheonggyecheon stream in the heart of the capital.
Falling between tradition and the avant-garde is the so-called Korean Wave, a major cultural craze surfing a strong appetite for indigenous pop music, movies and TV shows – in this part of Asia, popular heroines of TV series are said to influence entire generations – which have since spread across the world, thanks to social media.
May 2nd, 2015
In 1919 a small mid-season collection proposed by Coco for her clients vacationing in sunny climes gets a mention in American Vogue. The acceleration of cultural and social change sees the emergence of a new, independent woman who drives, and practices sports, while travel on luxury liners becomes fashionable among high society. The sportswear category takes off, with Gabrielle a key influencer.
In her boutique in Biarritz she proposes a sober, elegant wardrobe (think baggy, sailor-style pants, beach pajamas, and open-neck shirts) aimed at women familiar with the resort and yachting lifestyle of the era’s fashionable resorts, with as their playground the Basque Country, the Riviera and the Lido. Her designs, which coincide with the democratization of fashion and advances in travel that took off during the 1930s, are also cited in L’Officiel de la Mode in 1936: ’’A comprehensive mid-season collection… rich in suits and evening gowns.” The Cruise spirit is born, with Gabrielle its pioneer. Outmoded, the collection winds down in the 1950s but is resurrected by Karl Lagerfeld soon after his arrival at Chanel in 1983. Presented in late spring, on the fringes of the ready-to-wear collection, the silhouettes herald the arrival of summer.
The collection’s success sees the introduction of an annual show in the year 2000, a concept that slowly filters through to the rest of the fashion industry. Chanel sportswear, having evolved into more elegant lines, today addresses a global clientele on the lookout for newness, with fresh pieces introduced by the Maison roughly every two months. Refined, light and colorful, these summery silhouettes - geared to the day, cocktail-hour or evening - are especially suited to the climates of countries in South America, the Middle East and South-East Asia.
Blending together the traditions of a wardrobe and the modernity of a cosmopolitan style, the Cruise collection is about traveling. Each stop is for Karl Lagerfeld the occasion to tour favorite Gabrielle Chanel's destinations and to envision those she would have love to discover.
Gabrielle Chanel and Roussy Sert on a boat - Circa 1935 © All Rights Reserved
April 30th, 2015
The Cruise show will be held on May 4th 2015 at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in the center of Seoul.
Following Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Venice, Saint-Tropez, Cap d’Antibes, Versailles, Singapore and Dubai, Chanel revives the Cruise spirit in the Korean capital.
April 29th, 2015
Photos from the Paris-Salzburg campaign with Cara Delevingne, Pharrell Williams and Hudson Kroenig.
Collection to be discover in boutiques and on chanel.com in June.
Posters : Ludwig Hohlwein © Adagp, Paris 2015; Ernst Lübbert - Public domain / Furniture : Bruno Paul © Adagp, Paris 2015 / Lamp : Gerhard Schliepstein - all rights reserved
April 28th, 2015
April 28th, 2015
Last night at the 30th International Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères, the Fashion Jury exceptionally awarded not one, but two main prizes in the fashion category. German womenswear designer Annelie Schubert took the major prize - a grant of 15,000 euros, as well as a collaborative project with Chanel’s Métiers d’Art.
A graduate of Hamburg University of Applied Science and a former intern of Haider Ackermann’s, Schubert set out to explore ‘female expression” in her collection, working with sensual fabrics to create an elegant and layered look. “I thought it was going to be a difficult decision but finally when we met this morning it was quite unanimous: we liked Annelie’s use of colours, material and her sense of femininity,” said Fashion jury president Virginie Viard.
Dutch designer Weike Sinnige walked away with the bonus runner-up prize of 5000 euros, and she will also have the rarefied opportunity to collaborate with Lesage. “She is a real artist — she paints — and we felt that she would really benefit from an experience with Lesage,” Viard said of Sinnige, whose spirited collection, inspired by the kaleidoscope, played with perspective and colour.
Annelie Schubert womenswear collection / photo © Grégoire Alexandre
April 28th, 2015
Dutch photographer Sjoerd Knibbeler was awarded first prize in photography ‑ valued at 15,000 euros - at the 30th International Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères last night.
Over the past two years Knibbeler’s work has been concerned with aerodynamics, as he set out to capture the power of natural forces through his lens by manipulating the materials featured in his photographs. His surreal, yet undoctored images caught the attention and admiration of the jury early on. “His work was so interesting as he was photographing the wind, something that we cannot touch, and the way he used light was really beautiful”, said Photo jury president Eric Pfrunder after the presentation.
As with the fashion prize this year, the jury exceptionally created an additional prize for photography to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the festival. Greek photographer Evangelia Kranioti, whose interest in anthropology led her across the high seas, documenting the travels and intimacies of sailors around the world, was awarded 10,000 euros.
Photo © Sjoerd Knibbeler, Pays-Bas / Netherlands "P. 170", The Paper Planes, 2014
April 27th, 2015
Headlining a Master Class held in the framework of the 15th edition of the International Textile and Fashion Conferences at the Hyères Festival, Karl Lagerfeld stressed that, for the fashion designers of tomorrow, nothing is ever set in stone. “It all depends on what the person who sets out to become a creative, couturier or photographer really wants and is capable of,” he replied to fashion critic Godfrey Deeny, who moderated the event.
Addressing the room, and the Festival Jury, Karl Lagerfeld walked the audience through his various sources of inspiration, his career and passions, dishing out tips for the rising stars spotted at the Festival. “I draw as I photograph: quickly,” he said. “No set formula exists that one can rely on throughout one’s entire career. I’m still not sure if I was made for this career, nor where my talent comes from. I do know, however, that I never stopped improving. Today I don’t waste any time bringing my visions to life.”
For much of the class, the audience got to hear about Karl Lagerfeld’s approaches to drawing and photography. “Let’s just say that, as a couturier, I have always been interested in photography, be it film or digital… We can’t compare the two, just as it would be impossible - and pointless - to compare two life cycles,” he affirmed.
Photo by Anne Combaz
April 25th, 2015
April 24th, 2015
In 1923 Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles commission Robert Mallet-Stevens to build - on the heights overlooking Hyères - "an infinitely practical and simple house," where everything, according to Charles de Noailles, "follows the same principle: functionality”.
Mondrian, Laurens, Lipchitz, Brancusi and Giacometti introduce works of art, Jourdain the furniture, and Guévrékian the Cubist garden. In addition to the clear, structured forms and defined contrasts, this resolutely modern avant-garde construction also reflects the rationalism movement. Boasting as many as 15 bedrooms as well as a pool and squash court, the continual addition of extensions up until 1933 transform the site into an edifice measuring some 1800m2 (19,375 square feet) dedicated to a new lifestyle approach where the body and nature, in harmony with the spirit, unite as one.
Here, in this dream resort with its white walls, a pearl protected by a lush mass of vegetation, with views over the Mediterranean and the Golden Isles, the Noailles play host to Dali, Gide, Breton, Artaud, Poulenc, Lifar, Huxley, and most of the major emerging artists of the day. Following the passing of Marie-Laure in 1970, and its acquisition by the town of Hyères, and successive restorations, the villa today, as an art center and artists’ residency, celebrates the 30th anniversary of its International Festival of Fashion & Photography.
The anniversary offers the perfect opportunity to revisit the places immortalized by Karl Lagerfeld in 1995 in a series of black and white photographs. "Timelessly modern", "vulnerable like the present instant", the Villa Noailles appears empty, altered by the passing of time and yet still imbued with almost a century's worth of encounters and artistic creations. The image freezes the poetry of the decor, ennobling the traces of time and, moving beyond a reality that can sometimes prove limiting, awakening the imagination.
Photos by Karl Lagerfeld