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La Chanelphile

September 30, 2009

“Coco Avant Chanel” Exclusive Box Set & “Mini Karl”

"Coco Avant Chanel" Exclusive Box Set at Colette

"Coco Avant Chanel" Exclusive Box Set at Colette

Coco Avant Chanel (Coco Before Chanel in the U.S.) finally hit stateside last week as it makes its way across the globe. You didn’t think that a film about one of France’s most celebrated icons would come and go without Colette doing something special did you?

"Coco Avant Chanel" Exclusive Box Set at Colette

"Coco Avant Chanel" Exclusive Box Set at Colette

To celebrate the release, Colette has put together a beautiful Coco Avant Chanel Exclusive Box Set with only 100 produced. The box itself is a hat box containing a boater hat from La Maison Michel, a limited edition picture of Gabrielle Chanel, a book of quotations from Coco Chanel, a dvd of the movie Coco Avant Chanel and a Blue Ray collector edition including a booklet depicting the making-of the movie. I want this now! The Coco Avant Chanel Box Set costs €150 and is available on the Colette web shop.

Mini Karl by Simone Legno

Mini Karl by Simone Legno

While you’re there, you’ll probably want to pick up your own “Mini Karl” – doesn’t every Chanel girl need one? Designed by Simone Legno, of Tokidoki fame, “Mini Karl” is almost adorable as the real thing. Mini Karl costs €129 and is available on the Colette web shop.

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September 24, 2009

Coco Before Chanel: Interview with Alessandro Nivola

Alessandro Nivola

Alessandro Nivola

“This was the most technical performance I’ve ever had to give.”

From the moment Alessandro Nivola stepped into the room, he immediately put the group of journalists before him at ease. He was different from Audrey Tautou and Anne Fontaine who had translators and agents in tow, instead, Alessandro walked in solo and started cracking jokes.

Having met him, it’s easy to see how he was cast as Boy Capel, the man who played a large role in making Coco Chanel the icon she is today: Alessandro is funny and charming and sitting down to talk to him was like sitting down to chat with an old friend.

Nivola was a very different man than Boy Capel and Nivola had to learn a lot of new skills including how to play polo, play piano, dance, and the most difficult, how to speak French. Anne Fontaine, the director of Coco Before Chanel, had found him in some English movies that he had been in. Anne’s people got in touch with Nivola’s agent and asked, “Does he speak French? My agent said yes, when I barely did.” Next came a phone interview where he “had prepared very specific statements that I could stumble through and the next thing I know I was in Paris.”

Anne liked the sound of Alessandro’s voice speaking French, “even though my grammar was deplorable,” because his accent is hard to define, it’s not French or English, it sounds vaguely foreign. Like many French people, she didn’t find French being spoken with an American or English accent very “sexy”.

Learning French was a tedious process and Fontaine hired a woman to come to Nivola’s house for 2 hours a day for a month before they started filming. Then, he went to France a few weeks before filming and he spoke French the whole time he was there. Being the only American on set was a bit lonely for Nivola – the whole crew spoke French and he spent the first few weeks on set not understanding what people were saying. Reflecting on the experience, he said, “You lose your personality and your sense of humor and you find yourself just rigid with fear.”

Having seen the film, it’s impossible to see any guardedness in Nivola’s acting. In fact, I remember thinking to myself that I was quite impressed with his French and how natural it seemed. “The language thing made it much scarier [but I] wouldn’t trade it. There’s a part of me that likes feeling out of control that way. … I’m restless and get bored easily…I knew it would be an adventure that I would go and come back, and now I speak fluent French.”

You can see Alessandro Nivola charm you and Coco Chanel in Coco Before Chanel tomorrow, Friday, September 25th, in New York and Los Angeles, and in San Francisco on October 2nd.

Be sure to also check out the interview with Audrey Tautou, the actress who plays Coco Chanel.  Stay tuned for an exclusive one-on-one video interview with director Anne Fontaine.

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Filed under: Chanel Culture — Tags: , , , , — Miss Interns @ 4:02 pm

Coco Before Chanel: Interview With Audrey Tautou

Coco Before Chanel

Coco Before Chanel

When you are a rebel, you suffer. You fight, you’re determined, but you suffer because you don’t know if you are going to succeed…. it’s so much easier to accept the ruse. It’s that violence that isolated [Coco Chanel] and this is what I tried to keep everyday of the shooting, even if I was not expressing it in a scene, I really thought this mix of strength and vulnerability was very important.

-Audrey Tautou, on playing Coco Chanel

It may be hard to believe, but Audrey Tautou is even more beautiful in person than she is on the silver screen. Her piercing dark eyes, cropped dark hair and androgynous silhouette made her the only actress who could play the iconic Gabrielle Chanel in Coco Before Chanel. The resemblance is striking and the two women even shared an interest in the androgynous look, Audrey mused, “[Chanel] created the masculine/feminine [look] and I think that’s something that I share with her because I’m not girly girly.”

However, the two women are also very different. Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was known for being ahead of her time and Audrey says of herself, “I’m not modern at all, I’m a bit more savage, I don’t like the Parisian show business, it’s not my cup of tee.” It may not be her cup of tee, but it’s a craft that Audrey Tautou does exceedingly well. I had the chance to sit down with Mlle. Tautou with a group of journalists to ask her about her role as Coco Chanel. What follows below is an excerpt from the interview.

How Did You Get This Role? How Did It Come To You?

It come to me because Anne [Fontaine, the director] met me to propose me the part but without having written anything and without even knowing if she would find in Chanel’s life a moment interesting enough… to make a movie not a movie about clothes or fashion, but to make a real movie….I really like her….movies, they’re very clever.. so I thought…she was the right person to do something about Chanel.

Were you very familiar with Chanel?

I was not familiar, in fact I realized very quickly that I didn’t know that much and that my idea of her was kind of false. I knew the icon she was and…that she had created a new style and how elegant, strong and…authoritative she was but…I thought she was coming from the high bourgeoise and that everything had been easy. So, I was surprised to realize where she came from and in fact her vocation was not something that she was born with but it was more the elements and her unpredictable talent and the meetings with Boy Capel that put her on this road. It’s very surprising when you think of the empire she created and…how she influenced women’s fashion, it’s amazing.

You were also the face of Chanel no.5. Who approached you first, Anne Fontaine or Chanel No.5?

I had been approached to do the movie before Chanel asked me to be the new face of Chanel No. 5.

Did preparing for the role of Coco Chanel help you in filming the ad campaign?

No, because I filmed the ad campaign before shooting. …it was a real coincidence…. [W]hen you know a bit more Chanel,…I know her much better now,…I realized this perfume, No. 5, how it was revolutionary because everything was completely out of the fashion at this moment – it was not fashion at all – the smell, the packaging, the name, everything was exactly the opposite of what everybody else was doing. It’s amazing that she could be so modern and ahead of her time. Today it’s still the best selling perfume and still very modern, it’s not old fashioned at all.

You know much more about her now, but is there something that’s still a big mystery to you?

Oh yes, I don’t understand how a woman who is so proud and independent could bear to be very often a mistress…and I don’t really understand why she worked so hard to hide her past.

It seemed that Chanel would put on a mask to hide her feelings. As an actress you have an extraordinarily expressive face, was it a struggle to put that mask on?

I don’t really agree because Chanel, she was not cold…with no emotions…when you see her interviewed she was very, very expressive she was almost like a clown…she’s an incredible entertainer and she’s funny and ….she really expressed things.

How important was it playing a woman like this? She was ahead of her time so as an actress how did you feel playing a powerful iconic woman?

First it was intimidating…even if it’s not a like character and an easy part to play. I can’t say it’s the part that gave me the biggest pleasure in my career but I think she was the most interesting and deep.

You can see Audrey Tautou bring Mlle. Chanel back to life on the big screen in Coco Before Chanel, tomorrow, Friday, September 25th in New York and Los Angeles, and in San Francisco on October 2nd.

Be sure to also check out the interview with Alessandro Nivola, the actor who plays Chanel’s love interest, Boy Capel.  Stay tuned for an exclusive one-on-one video interview with director Anne Fontaine.

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Filed under: Chanel Culture — Tags: , , , — Miss Interns @ 3:47 pm

Coco Cocoon Collection Website Launch

Coco Cocoon Collection Featuring Lily Allen

Coco Cocoon Collection Featuring Lily Allen

“True luxury is when something is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside.”
-Coco Chanel

A few month’s ago we reported that Lily Allen was the face for a new collection for Chanel – the Coco Cocoon Collection.  The collection launches on October 3rd, and to showcase the items and their versatility, Chanel has launched the official Coco Cocoon Collection website.

Coco Chanel was a master at combining casual and luxurious so the Coco Cocoon collection is something that fits in nicely with Chanel’s original vision.  Made of nylon or lambskin, the collection is called Cocoon because it’s reminiscent of the big down coats we cocoon ourselves in during the winter.  Many of the styles are reversible (thus as beautiful inside as they are out) and feature very subtle branding.  The collection is available in beige, black, chocolate or burgandy – the burgandy is the same legendary shade used for the lining of the famous “2.55″ handbag.  The collection also includes small goods like wallets, cases, pouches and key rings.

Coco Cocoon Collection

Coco Cocoon Collection

Check out the Chanel Coco Cocoon site to see all of the products in the collection, the inspiration, the campaign images and videos of Chanel clad young ladies showing you how great each of the pieces are.

Chanel – Karl Lagerfeld / Coco Cocoon from Materialiste on Vimeo.

Chanel – Coco Cocoon / Change My Shoes from Materialiste on Vimeo.

Chanel – Coco Cocoon / Macadam Style from Materialiste on Vimeo.

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Filed under: Chanel Handbags — Tags: , , , , — Miss Interns @ 3:42 pm

September 18, 2009

M.I.S.S. NYFW: Fashion’s Night Out at Chanel Soho

Fashion's Night Out at Chanel Soho - Jade Nail Collection

Fashion's Night Out at Chanel Soho - Jade Nail Collection

Fashion’s Night Out was like a big party in the streets of NYC.  We started out uptown on 57th Street where all the luxury stores have flagships and then made our way down to Soho.  The scene uptown was very subdued compared to the partying in the streets of Soho.  From Opening Ceremony’s block party to the Kid Cudi listening party at A Bathing Ape, the streets were jam packed with shoppers looking for good deals and celebrity sightings.  One of my favorite destinations?  The Chanel Soho boutique.

Just in time for FNO, Chanel debuted its Jade nail colour collection: Jade and Jade Rose.  A pale pink and pale green, the Jade collection is a perfect match of the elements that inspired the colors.

As part of the FNO festivities Chanel offered free manicures using Jade and Jade Rose at the Soho boutique.  People sipped champagne, did some shopping, and got their nails did – all while shaking to the beats provided by Alexa Chung.  Having stopped by a few FNO events, this was definitely one of my favorites.  You can find the Chanel Jade nail colour collection and Chanel boutiques and online at Chanel.com.

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September 11, 2009

Another Visit to the Chanel Ultra-Luxe Boutique at The Encore, Las Vegas

A Gift From Chanel

A Gift From Chanel

Last February, I visited the Chanel Ultra-Luxe Boutique at The Encore in Las Vegas at the coaxing of Ruby Romero. She tempted me with exotic skins and extremely limited product – how could a girl resist? The experience did not disappoint. Ruby is an enthusiastic associate and I made a friend out of the experience. I felt like I had “died and gone to Chanel heaven.”

When I returned to Vegas last week, I had to stop by to see Ruby and all the lovelies that she would undoubtedly show me (and let me try on). The visit was a treat, from the iconic black tweed jacket to the Camelia watch and pink tweed boater hat, I tried them on. As if that weren’t enough, Ruby surprised me with a special treat – a copy of Karl Lagerfeld’s “Chanel’s Russian Connection – a book detailing the silent film Lagerfeld produced, as well as the Métiers D’Art Pre-Fall 2009 Paris-Moscou collection. I don’t know if Ruby knew that I collected Chanel books, but this was truly a lovely, heartfelt gift.

Karl Lagerfeld - Chanel's Russian Connection

Karl Lagerfeld - Chanel's Russian Connection

f you are ever in Las Vegas, be sure to visit Ruby at the Chanel Ultra-Luxe Boutique at The Encore. She knows her stuff. She’s the first sales associate at a luxury goods store that is up on everything (I’ve had a few experiences going into other shops and it’s a bummer when I know more than the sales associate). Not only that, but she’s got the sweetest disposition -no pressure to buy here! Ruby understands that part of what makes Chanel such an amazing brand is the fantasy involved. I have vowed that no matter what city I’m in, if I want to make a Chanel purchase, I’m calling Ruby and buying from her – you should too.

Chanel at Encore - Ruby Romero - Excellent Customer Service

Chanel at Encore - Ruby Romero - Excellent Customer Service

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Filed under: Chanel Culture — Tags: , , — Miss Interns @ 4:42 pm

September 9, 2009

The Glamorous Life: Lily and Karl are Back at it Again!

The Glamorous Life: Lily and Karl are Back at it Again!

The Glamorous Life: Lily and Karl are Back at it Again!

Earlier this summer singer Lily Allen made her debut as Chanel’s newest face. She channeled Audrey Hepburn while Karl Lagerfeld shot her and Chanel’s amazing Coco Cocoon bags. Now, thanks to the Daily Mail, we get a sneak peek at Lily playing dress up for Uncle Karl again, this time going for a sexier look that features a mop of messy hair and a vamp red lip.

Lily playing dress up for Uncle Karl again, this time going for a sexier look.

Lily playing dress up for Uncle Karl again, this time going for a sexier look.

These images are more in line with the sweet and saucy Lily that we’ve all come to know and love via her two hit albums and countless paparazzi shots.  That’s the Lily that Karl handpicked for this campaign despite the fact that she admits to being very aware that she is “5 ft 2 in and a size 12” and uncomfortable modeling. However, with her affinity for Chanel bags and her fiery personality it’s no wonder Lagerfeld, who describes her as fun, chose her.

The Glamorous Life: Lily and Karl are Back at it Again!

The Glamorous Life: Lily and Karl are Back at it Again!

These images are more in line with the sweet and saucy Lily that we’ve all come to know.

With her new found status as muse, it seems as Karl’s influence has rubbed off since Lily is taking a spin in the designing chair herself.  She has already done her own line of clothes for British label New Look and just recently launched a line of jewelry called Lily Allen of course.

Like most of you, I am eagerly awaiting the official release of Lily’s new Chanel Coco Cocoon ads. I have to see if she once again rose to the occasion and did Karl proud. I’m sure she did, because we all know Karl Lagerfeld would have it no other way.

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Filed under: Chanel Culture — Tags: , , , , , — Miss Interns @ 4:47 pm