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
April 24th, 2015
“Prodigiously intelligent” is how Francis Poulenc describes Coco Chanel to Marie-Laure de Noailles in the early 1930s, before the two women meet at last, an attribute that also sums up the spirited Marie-Laure, though the traits they had in common did not end there.
Fact and fiction shaped both of their childhoods. Gabrielle, for her part, masked the unhappiness of her early years and went on to invent a legend. Marie-Laure, who was raised in a highly cultivated, privileged environment that was lacking in affection, had a solitary childhood, as the descendant of a wealthy German banking family and a French aristocratic clan whose ancestry can be traced back to the notorious Marquis de Sade. Her eccentric grandmother, the Comtesse de Chevigné, who partly inspired Marcel Proust’s Madame de Guermantes, was to prove a major influence.
Just like Gabrielle, Marie-Laure follows her artistic instincts. The Parisian hôtel particulier that she moves into following her marriage to Charles de Noailles already houses a major collection of Old Masters, from Delacroix to Rembrandt, Goya to Rubens. The couple commission decorator Jean-Michel Frank to redesign the site’s interiors — think stripped back spaces with monastic volumes, marrying rare pieces of furniture and unique materials like straw and panels of parchment with pure forms. This stark aesthetic echoes Marie-Laure’s own look, with her wardrobe of Chanel suits (she owned 40 different styles, most of them black, according to Abbé Mugnier).
In constant pursuit of refinement, Chanel the designer favors the harmony of lines and the simplification of the garment, freeing up movement. Marrying beauty and function, she defines a new modernity.
A rebel and nonconformist like Coco, Marie-Laure gets a kick out of provocation. In 1932, as one of the first to adopt the diamond jewelry designs audaciously presented by Gabrielle to help “combat the economic crisis”, she appears in Vogue sporting a sparkling feather brooch.
Chanel revolutionizes fashion; Marie-Laure as muse and patron, and later painter and writer, contributes to the history of art, amassing, together with her husband, a collection of works spanning Braque, Picasso, Balthus, Mondrian, Giacometti and Man Ray. The couple play host to le tout-Paris and cultivate their knack for scouting new talent, notably the Surrealists. They finance cinematic projects, and lend support to composers like Markevitch, Poulenc and Stravinsky …
More discreet in her support of the arts, it is Gabrielle Chanel who offers shelter to the Russian composer and his family in her villa in Garches. As early as 1924 she designs the costumes for Le Train Bleu, a ballet by Diaghilev featuring a decor painted by Picasso, along with other productions and a film by Renoir. She shares close relationships with the poets of the day and avant-garde artists including Dali, Nijinski and Visconti. Coco also shares a close friendship with Cocteau, for whom Marie-Laure has had an infatuation all her life … Marie-Laure is a hopeless romantic; Coco, who is destined to remain alone, despite her epic love affairs, confesses that, without love, a woman is nothing.
Marie-Laure de Noailles © Henri Martinie / Roger-Viollet
April 23rd, 2015
The Hyères Festival for its 2015 edition welcomes Maison Chanel as its guest of honor, with Karl Lagerfeld overseeing its artistic direction; Virginie Viard as the President of the fashion jury, and Eric Pfrunder as the President of the photography jury.
The five-day event – which kicks off on Thursday April 23 with an impressive roster of conferences, debates, workshops, roundtables and exhibitions – is open to professionals, students and the general public.
Running concurrently are two competitions uniting 10 fashion designers and as many photographers, selected by a jury composed of personalities and specialists from the respective fields. The announcement of this year’s laureates and awards ceremony will be held on Sunday April 26.
April 15th, 2015
The "Girl Chanel" handbag from the Spring-Summer 2015 Ready-to-Wear collection.
April 7th, 2015
Kristen Stewart is the face of the latest eyewear campaign photographed by Karl Lagerfeld.
April 7th, 2015
April 1st, 2015
Presentation of the Paris-Salzburg collection, New York
April 1st, 2015
April 1st, 2015
If it’s Tuesday this must be Chanel — in New York City, via Salzburg. And there’s Pharrell, dressed in his signature shorts, now sporting a jaunty bellman’s cap. Perched next to him on an overstuffed Louis XV settee Beyoncé flashes a smile.
If this is confusing, let’s back up.
The evening’s invitation — a glittering Karl Lagerfeld sketch of Salzburg’s Schloss Leopoldskron — was the first clue that Chanel might be bringing their Paris‑Salzburg 2014/15 Métiers d’art collection to New York City. But none of the 650 guests pulling up to the Park Avenue Armory on a rainy March evening could have guessed that just beyond the majestic doors lay a grand suite of 18th century style rooms painted in delicate shades of lilac, burgundy, Wedgwood and gold and lit with enormous crystal chandeliers. Waiters passed champagne and canapés to the crowd. And what a crowd: Beyoncé, Patti Smith, Julianne Moore, Banks, Vanessa Paradis, Lily-Rose Depp, Anna Mouglalis, Dakota Johnson, and Lily Collins. Socialites like Harley Viera-Newton, Laura Love and Alexa Chung lounged on their appointed settees while watching the collection of intricate pieces showcasing the unique craftsmanship of Chanel’s creations — Lemarié feathers, Lesage embroidery, and Causse gloves to name a few.
For the finale, Cara Delevingne and Kendall Jenner appeared in twin confections of black and white tulle trimmed in velvet ribbon and lace. Taking his bow with six-year-old Hudson Kroenig--dressed in lederhosen, of course — Karl then beckoned guests into a wood-paneled coffee house hidden behind a giant bookcase. A special screening of Lagerfeld’s film, “Reincarnation” revealed the inspiration behind Coco Chanel’s iconic tweed jacket: the hotel porter’s jacket she first spied at Salzburg’s Mittersill Hotel. And then, Voilà! Pharrell reappeared on stage dressed in his own version of the Tyrolean-inspired jacket.
“I never could have dreamed of singing this here for you in New York City!” he exclaimed before launching into “Happy” and “Get Lucky.” Before anyone could press “send” on their iPhones, Pharrell called Cara Delevingne up on stage to sing “CC The World,” the song he composed for the film’s soundtrack, a song he said had been inspired by “a slight Viennese waltz.” True to form, even the back up dancers wore pearls.