January 25th, 2016
Haute Couture is quintessentially Parisian. It was born in the quarter around the rue de la Paix where Charles‑Frédéric Worth founded his dressmaking salon in 1858. By transforming the couturier from a "supplier" into a "creator" he was the first to present his clients with actual collections on living models in luxurious salons.
At that time, Paris already had a reputation as the world's capital of elegance and was bursting with small businesses dedicated to the art of couture (embroiderers, feather workers, button, shoe and glove makers and milliners…).
Although Gabrielle Chanel opened her first Maison de Couture in Biarritz in 1915, she moved to rue Cambon in Paris, in 1918. By the end of the 1920’s, the address had expanded to include N°s 23, 25, 27, 29 and 31. The legendary 31, rue Cambon is now solely dedicated to Haute Couture. All of the collections and orders for Haute Couture are without exception created in this historical building.
© Anne Combaz
January 25th, 2016
Everyone knows the Art Deco staircase lined with mirrors where Gabrielle Chanel sat, unseen, to observe the reactions of the audience as each of her collections was presented.
Like a symbolic backbone, this central axis links the Haute Couture salons on the first floor to the creator's apartment on the second.
As discreet as the salons are sumptuous, the apartment is not alone, there are other equally strategic places in the labyrinth of the House of Chanel, from Karl Lagerfeld’s studio to the Haute Couture ateliers.
At each different stage of a creation, and each time it is necessary to make an adjustment to a piece or to have a fitting, it is not unusual to see the heads of the ateliers emerge from the workshop, their arms full with their precious creations.
© Olivier Saillant
January 24th, 2016
The ESSEC and the Château de Versailles signed a partnership agreement last Friday to launch the Savoir-Faire d’Exception ("Exceptional Savoir-Faire") Chair with the support of the Maison Chanel and other key players in the luxury goods sector.
As part of an effort to foster French excellence, this agreement will create student internships at the Château de Versailles. Specific modules will also be organized to develop careers in the field of culture and art management. Furthermore, the promotion of French expertise will be expanded in the Asia‑Pacific region thanks to the existing campus based in Singapore. The creation of this new Chair will include approximately twenty students and begin with the 2016 academic year .
For Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Fashion Activities at Chanel: "Chanel’s commitment to preserving the master crafts, and the craftsman who are our historical partners, with their unique cultural and artistic heritage (...) has made it possible to sustain and transfer the exceptional know-how of the different ateliers while also stimulating creation and innovation." "It is essential for us to continue developing and enhancing this patrimony", he added.
© Anne Combaz
January 23rd, 2016
Member of the Resistance, journalist and author, Edmonde Charles‑Roux, who was born in 1920 and died a few days ago, was one of the pioneers of French women's magazines in the postwar period.
After participating in the creation of "Elle" magazine in 1946, this woman of character, commitment and talent climbed the publishing ladder of French "Vogue" before becoming the Chief Editor in 1954.
Her first published novel, "To forget Palermo" in 1966, was a resounding success, since the novel won the Prix Goncourt. This was the beginning of a brilliant literary career that led her to enter the Académie Goncourt in 1983 before chairing it from 2002 to 2014.
It is of course no coincidence that the novelist, in love with fashion, devoted two books to Gabrielle Chanel. Upon meeting in 1954, the two women immediately felt that they shared an independent spirit and strength of character that drove them to build the lives they chose for themselves. It is as if Edmonde had found in the fashion designer the self-confidence that she still lacked, the figure she had just outlined. The young reporter decided to adopt a Chanel suit and pearl necklace, an outfit she wore for years. "You have a style, that of the peasant women of Arles, do not move from that, do not cut your hair" Gabrielle still advised her.
In "Chanel and her world", a work of reference, she pays tribute to Coco’s creative genius, but in "L’Irrégulière" (The Misfit), she retraces the designer’s unique destiny: that of a woman in charge of a huge company that was a lightning rod for an entire period. And yet throughout her life, the designer had been a “misfit” by bourgeois conventions. Which in a sense Edmonde was a bit herself.
© Robert Doisneau/Rapho
January 21st, 2016
"Haute Couture is the extreme luxury. It is perfection with a unique personality. It has to do with patience and with modern and current times. Haute Couture is a maximum symbol of artisan’s refinement and beauty. This is the beauty and the magic of it." Karl Lagerfeld
January 19th, 2016
Named Best Actress at the 2016 Critics’ Choice Awards for her role in the series "Fargo", Kirsten Dunst wore a dress from the Fall‑Winter 2015/16 Haute Couture collection. This annual ceremony presented by the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) honors the year’s best films and TV series.
© Steve Granitz/Getty Images
January 15th, 2016
Robert Goossens (1927‑2016), goldsmith and jeweler, was a master craftsman with a rare talent and a genuine passion for his art.
When Gabrielle Chanel met Goossens in 1953, she was enchanted by his Baroque-style creations inspired by ancient jewelry in particular Byzantine and Egyptian.
When he revealed his creations influenced by Barbarian, Visigoth, and Etruscan jewelry, her immediate response was, "They are magnificent - if people ask where they came from we will say the excavations at rue Cambon!" She went on to commission furniture, chandeliers and mirrors from Goossens for her Paris apartment at 31 rue Cambon.
Robert Goossens produced for all the major fashion designers and could work wonders with any material, from metal, stone, and leather to rock crystal, ivory, tortoiseshell, enamel and wood.
He also taught his craft to his children. Patrick creates jewelry, while Martine specializes in decorative art pieces and all their work is hand-made.
© All Rights Reserved. Maison Goossens, 1990
January 12th, 2016
The English actress wore a dress from the Cruise 2015/16 collection to the 73rd Golden Globe Awards closing in Los Angeles on January 10th.
© Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
January 6th, 2016
The Best Supporting Actress nomination at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards went to the actress and the Maison Chanel ambassador for her performance in the 2014 Olivier Assayas‑helmed movie “Clouds Of Sils Maria”.
For the event, she wore a black leather and lace skirt and top from the Paris in Rome 2015/16 Métiers d’Art collection, accessorized with a “Première” watch.
This awards ceremony, hosted by the New York Film Critics Circle, an American organization of film reviewers, honors the best films and performances of the previous year.
© Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images
January 5th, 2016
With Lineisy Montero Feliz and Mica Arganaraz.
Collection in boutiques and on chanel.com in March.