August 18th, 2014Par Françoise-Claire Prodhon
1913: The Normandy coast with its expansive gray-blue skies and beaches still resembled the representations depicted by Eugène Boudin and the Impressionists at the turn of the 19th century... There was no swimming, or very little at most... Visitors splashed about or baited for shrimp, and the more elegant among them were seated under their parasols or withdrew into their canvas sun tents, wearing the same restrictive outfits on the sand as they wore in town. All of them were still unaware that a revolution was underway...
1913 was the year when Coco Chanel chose to open her first fashion boutique on rue Gontaut-Biron in Deauville.
This young woman, who successfully opened her first hat store in 1910 called "Chanel Modes" located at 21 rue Cambon in Paris, had established a formidable reputation and had already won over the most elite socialites of the time. However, it was in Deauville where she was the first to invent a sporty sense of style that reflected a changing society, a style that would forever alter the course of women's history.
Here at this chic resort destination she sold her wide-brimmed hats that were simply decorated with a single feather or ribbon. Yet most importantly, she offered wealthy clients open-air apparel that she displayed along Deauville’s famous boardwalk. The selection notably included the fisherman-inspired striped jersey sweater: yet again, she was able to reinvent a masculine garment and transform a classic work wear item into something comfortable for women who were ever so ready to be liberated from the heavy, corseted silhouette imposed by the “Belle Epoque”. Other outfits followed that embodied casual chic and successfully put everything else out of fashion: striped shirts, sailor pants, and beach pajamas that she accessorized with pearls and camellias loosely stitched to the belt or collar lapel. In Deauville, Gabrielle's boldness paired with the elegance of Adrienne (her young aunt) and her sister Antoinette (both dressed by Chanel) was as surprising as it was seductive. Gabrielle Chanel breathed new life and fresh air into fashion, fully embracing the spirit of the times, which the Avant-gardists were also doing at the same time in other creative fields such as painting, sculpture, literature, poetry, and music.
Françoise Claire Prodhon
Photo © All Rights Reserved
August 13th, 2014
From August 30th until October 5th 2014, the DDP Seoul will house the Culture Chanel exhibition entitled "The Sense of Places". This design museum inaugurated in March 2014 is the work of the architect Zaha Hadid.
Once again this exhibition has been entrusted to Jean‑Louis Froment, the curator of the previous editions of Culture Chanel, held successively in Moscow’s Pushkin State Museum for Fine Arts in 2007, in Shanghai at the Museum of Contemporary Art and in Beijing at the National Art Museum of China in 2011, and more recently in 2013 at the Opera House in Guangzhou and at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.
Culture Chanel, "The Sense of Places" approaches Chanel’s creative language through the locations that greatly inspired Gabrielle Chanel. Each of the exhibition’s ten sequences acts as a particular landmark in Mademoiselle Chanel’s life story, and the exhibition seeks to highlight the strong influence these places she lived in and loved had in forming her stylistic language.
From Aubazine to Deauville, from Paris to Venice, Gabrielle Chanel sketches the contours of her world enriched with images and reminiscences. More than 500 pieces including photographs, books, objects, manuscripts, archives and artworks along with fashion, jewelry, watch and perfume creations retrace the life story of this key figure that left an enduring mark on her time. This exhibition reveals the true spirit of Chanel through a subtle play of correspondences, and in a highly original way sheds light on the real and imaginary life of one of the foremost creators of the 20th century.
From August 30th to October 5th, 2014
Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul
August 6th, 2014Par Françoise-Claire Prodhon
The relationship between Gabrielle Chanel and the Basque coast dates back to 1915. It was Arthur “Boy” Capel who introduced her to Biarritz while on leave from his military duties. The war that raged on relentlessly seemed far off while at this famous seaside resort: many wealthy women had fled Paris to seek refuge there and spent quiet, peaceful days at the seaside. Gabrielle Chanel was captivated by the smart and stylish atmosphere of Biarritz. It was here that she decided to open her first couture house in 1915 in a villa facing the casino.
She experienced instant success: neighboring Spain was neutral during the war, and orders poured in from Spanish royalty and very wealthy clients, as well as from French clients who were won over by the innovative luxury of Chanel. Biarritz had also served as a resort destination for Russian aristocrats since the 19th century, who purchased and built numerous villas there. After the fall of the czar, many of them sought refuge in Biarritz. It was here in 1920 that Gabrielle Chanel met Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovitch, cousin of the czar, with whom she had an affair until 1922. She spent much time with him at various villas along the Basque coast. In 1920, Gabrielle Chanel became the symbol of elegance, introducing the world to a modern sense of style that she embodied ever so perfectly. It was reflected in her streamlined silhouettes, ankles revealed by shortened skirts and dresses, simple garments with clean lines, and soft materials such as jersey knit, fabrics so comfortable that she made swimsuits from them, in addition to the jacket and skirt suits that she was the first to wear.
While enjoying freedom, an outdoor lifestyle and the modern winds that were blowing around her, Gabrielle Chanel cut her hair short and exposed herself to the sun. Women quickly followed suit, mimicking the look that would foreshadow the profound changes yet to come of a society heading full steam into the 20th century.
Françoise Claire Prodhon
Photo © CHANEL - Collection Bernstein-Grüber
August 1st, 2014
Photo by Olivier Saillant. Styled by Yasmine Eslami.
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