To commemorate the Chanel pop-up shop at Harrod’s in London, Chanel created the Knightsbridge collection – a capsule collection of beauty products created by Peter Philips. Inspired by the English Rose, we have all variations of pink for cheeks and lips. The collection is available now exclusively at Harrod’s.
September 25, 2011
I wish that I could close my eyes and click my heels and be any place in the world because at any given time, there is some very cool Chanel happening in major metropolitan cities around the world. The latest? A pop-up shop at Harrods in London. I’m not in London so I can’t give you first-hand info but I have scoured the web and found some great coverage. Blogger extraordinaire Alex of Alex Loves had some great photos of the shop and the specialty products – many thanks to her for her great post. All photos below are from Alex Loves and you can see more great images and read more on Beauty and the Dirt and Style Bubble.
Unfortunately, the pop-up shop is now closed (I’ve been meaning to write this post for about 2 weeks now but a little something called New York Fashion Week got in the way) but it’s too good not to share. If you were in London for Fashion Week (or just happen to live there or close enough to visit) I hope you were able to see this yourself. I’d love to hear about your experience there!
Images: All images from Alex Loves.
September 24, 2011
Earlier this week Chanel filed a claim in the U.S. District Court is Las Vegas against 399 websites alleging cyberpiracy and trademark infringement due to the sale of counterfeit Chanel products bearing the Chanel name and logo. Many of these websites operate outside the country and dilute the Chanel mark. (Intellectual Property Brief)
Claimants in trademark infringement cases need to prove customer confusion – that is, they need to prove that customers visiting one of the 399 websites may be confused as to whether the products are authentic Chanel goods. Since the websites are unlawfully using the Chanel marks and selling fake products I don’t think this will be a difficult case to prove.
This is not the first time that Chanel has made efforts to protect its mark. Last year I wrote a post about Chanel winning several domain name disputes where counterfeit goods were sold online through websites that misleadingly had the word “Chanel” in the url and in October 2010, Chanel Inc. sued a chain of costume jewelry stores for selling counterfeit merchandise. Chanel also took out an infamous letter on the back page of WWD asking editors not to use the Chanel name to describe products that are not made by Chanel. The ad stated:
A note of information and entreaty to fashion editors, advertisers, copywriters and other well-intentioned mis-users of our Chanel name:
Chanel was a designer, an extraordinary woman who made a timeless contribution to fashion. Chanel is a perfume. Chanel is modern elegance in couture, ready-to-wear, accessories, watches and fine jewelry. Chanel is our registered trademark for fragrance, cosmetics, clothing, accessories and other lovely things. Although our style is justly famous, a jacket is not ‘a Chanel jacket’ unless it is ours, and somebody else’s cardigans are not ‘Chanel for now.’ And even if we are flattered by such tributes to our fame as ‘Chanel-issime, Chanel-ed, Chanels, and Chanel-ized’, PLEASE DON’T. Our lawyers positively detest them. We take our trademark seriously.
Chanel has even sent cease and desist letters to DC Shoes because of the similarity in logo design.
With all of this legal activity surrounding the Chanel brand, it’s a little funny that Thursday Friday is now selling a tote bag with the likeness of the Chanel 2.55 bag printed on it. You may have heard of the brand a while back when they came out with the Birkin totes – which by the way they are now being sued for. It seems to me it’s just a matter of time before Chanel sues them as well.
September 22, 2011
On Tuesday, I had the honor of attending a Luncheon held in honor of Justine Picardie, the author of Chanel – Her Life. Tucked away in the private upstairs room of La Grenouille, “the last great French restaurant in New York”, the intimate setting and amidst gorgeous floral displays, it was the perfect place to spend an afternoon celebrating the life of Coco Chanel.
I read Picardie’s first edition of Coco Chanel: The Legend and The Life while on vacation this summer and it is by far my favorite Chanel biography. In fact, Karl Lagerfeld himself loved the biography so much that he created illustrations and redesigned the layout of the book, including the font, for the second edition published by Lagerfeld’s long-time publisher Steidl. I’m so glad I had already read the book because the new edition – Chanel – Her Life – is so beautiful I would hate to cause any wear-and-tear to the edition. Having read the book only a month ago, much of it was fresh in my mind. But, to hear the author herself discuss the experience brought a whole new level of understanding.
Growing Up With Chanel
Though Justine Picardie started the process of writing Chanel – Her Life in 1998, her fascination with Chanel started as a little girl. Her mother kept Chanel N°5 on her dressing table and that was her mom’s signature scent. Though Picardie couldn’t read yet, the typeface of the Chanel N°5 bottle was so distinctive, she knew that is contents were “precious” and the bottle was off-limits to Justine and her sister. It seems Picardie’s mother was a Chanelphile herself and for her wedding she wore a little black dress – not a Chanel original but made from a Vogue Chanel pattern. Continuing in the rebellious spirit of her mother, Justine Picardie wore her mother’s wedding dress during her punk phase to see The Clash and The Sex Pistols (so cool on so many levels!).
Gabrielle Chanel, Convent Life and Chanel Iconography
I’ve often read of Gabrielle Chanel’s mysterious childhood growing up in the convent at Aubazine – mysterious because of the many versions of her childhood that Chanel recounted often replacing nuns with “severe aunts in black.” Justine Picardie is the only writer that was granted access to stay at the convent. The process of gaining access was a long one, but when one of Picardie’s letters reached the abbey on the Saint Justine’s Saint’s Day, the nuns saw it as a sign and allowed Justine Picardie to stay at the convent on the condition that she follow their routine. And so she woke at dawn, prayed, ate very little, prayed some more and sang. Not only was she able to walk the same halls that young Gabrielle Chanel had, but she got to experience what Coco Chanel had experienced.
In many ways, growing up at Aubazine was probably the biggest influence on Coco Chanel’s designs. From the stark black and white of the nuns’ habits, star patterns in the mosaic floor of Aubazine Abbey, iron crosses and patterns in the stained glass that are eerily similar to the interlocking C’s – all of this imagery plays a large part in modern Chanel iconography and provides the foundation for the house that Chanel built. In fact, she sent the architect of La Pausa to the Aubazine Abbey to replicate the staircase for the foyer of La Pausa.
Coco Chanel’s Activities During WWII
We’ve all read the vicious rumors circulating online about Coco Chanel prompted by Hal Vaughan’s Sleeping With the Enemy (review coming shortly but you can hear Justine Picardie and Hal Vaughan debate the topic in the mean time). Picardie would never speak ill of another writer’s work; she read the same sources that Hal Vaughan read and she came to very different conclusions. For Ms. Picardie, the situation was a “much more complicated story.”
Time has not been kind to Coco Chanel and her wartime activities. She closed her house because she thought that war was “no time for fashion.” Though it was seen as patriotic to stay in business, the French designers that did continue throughout the war only ended up designing for the wives and mistresses of Nazi officers – not very patriotic. Indeed, perhaps not selling to the Nazis was more patriotic, non? For example, Cartier designed a piece for Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propoganda, but you don’t see people exploiting that fact – or calling Cartier a Nazi. Picasso sold paintings to Nazi’s and even had some Nazi’s visit his studio. In fact, any French person who was not part of the resistance in some way or another had contact with Germans. Whether you were a barber, baker or banker – if you were in occupied France you had to work with Germans.
It’s sad, but Coco Chanel may be the victim of sexism – a “convenient scapegoat”. She was a strong, financially independent business woman – something very rare back then (and still scary to some today). Her relationship with a half-English half-German low-level spy was complicated – as were all of her relationships with men. The lowest act she committed was trying to get control of Chanel Fragrances – a company whose name she shared but only shared in 10% of its profits – through the use of anti-Jewish laws. Not respectable at all, though there is much more to the story (read the book for information on all wartime activities).
The 1954 Comeback
Coco Chanel re-opened her house in 1954 to awful French review – the kind that would make anyone else quit. That Coco Chanel continued is a “measure of her strength”. Her reason for returning to Fashion? Dior. In 1947 he popularized the “New Look” and managed to bring back corsets, virtually un-doing Chanel’s life’s work. She had done so much to liberate women and she wanted to free them from the tyranny of the corset one more time. (It appears the rivalry between Dior and Chanel is not a new one).
The afternoon started with champagne and hors d’oeuvres followed by a sumptuous meal – the kind that I could see Coco Chanel herself enjoying amidst the company of her artist friends. As we dined, Justine Picardie recounted stories of her stay at The Ritz in the suite that Coco Chanel died in (not the pre-WWII Coco Chanel Suite). It seems Mlle. Chanel may have paid Ms. Picardie a visit the night of her stay. Over a hushed table, Justine Picardie told us how after turning in for the night and shutting the lights one of the bulbs shot out of the wall sconce, lights flickered and lights turned on without her help. The luncheon ended with Ms. Picardie signing my copy of Chanel – Her Life and I received a box of Chanel N°19 Poudré compliments of Chanel.
Coco Chanel – Living in Black and White
If I took away one thing from reading Chanel – Her Life and hearing Justine Picardie speak – it would be that Coco Chanel is shrouded in mystery because she was a woman of contrasts. From the diametrically opposed staircases in her life – the dark, austere Aubazine Abbey to the glimmering, mirrored staircase at 31 Rue Cambon, to her at-once loving yet litigious relationship with her business partner of sorts Pierre Wertheimer, Chanel was a complicated woman. She hid the darkest parts of her past like the shame of growing up in poverty and from that she created light – beautiful creations that look as modern now as they did seventy-years ago. And from the mystery of her life, the contrast of darkness and light, the simplicity of the signature black and white Chanel branding make all the sense in the world.
Chanel – Her Life is available now in bookstores and online.
As promised, here are all the images I captured at the tents at Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week. For every image I was able to take, there were probably about 5 that I didn’t get. Ladies get dressed in their best to see fashion shows and for many women, “their best” includes a Chanel bag.
The overwhelming majority of women have the Chanel 2.55 Classic (as opposed to the Chanel 2.55 Reissue). There were also a few colors represented but for most women, the color of choice was black. I think the reason for that is twofold: first, black is quintessentially Chanel and second, for many women a Chanel bag is an investment piece. It’s not a secret that Chanel bags demand a hefty price tag so I think women opt for a color they will get the most wear out of.
One last note, I was taking pictures quickly so there definitely may be some fakes in the mix. I was not able to inspect the bags closely. Some items I know are faux (like the rhinestone leggings!) but sometimes fakes are so bad that they’re good….
I’ll be making this a regular feature of the site so any feedback would be appreciated! Enjoy!
September 19, 2011
About a month ago I posted about how Dior’s ad campaign was treading a bit too closely to Chanel territory. The quilted purse with chain strap and the tweed jacket – which are signatures of the Chanel brand – were the central focus of the Dior campaign. I also mentioned that the new Dior watch also closely resembles the Chanel J12. When I saw the following fragrance ad campaign for J’adore Dior my jaw dropped.
It’s common knowledge (at least amongst the fashion set) that Marilyn Monroe famously said when asked what she wore to bed: “What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel N°. 5, of course.” When I think of celebrities and fragrances, I always think of Marilyn Monroe and Chanel N°. 5. To recast Marilyn Monroe as a Dior perfume lover is tantamount to re-writing history. I wonder what Chanel thinks of all this?
There’s also a video of how to wear a Dior bag – beige, quilted (matelassé) and with chain strap – and the bag is paired with tweeds throughout the entire video. I feel this is all way too close to the Chanel branding. I understand that Dior is going through a bit of turmoil right now, but it’s DIOR! I expect better than that. They have a rich and storied tradition that they can pull from – they shouldn’t seek to try to be one of their competitors.
**UPDATE**Two readers, Isabel and Margaret, were kind enough to point out that the model in the Dior bag ad is in fact Jac Jagaciak, the face of Chanel Beauté! The more “coincidences” I find, the less it feels like “coincidence.”
Chanel just released a video to highlight the Illusions d’ombres Fall 2011 Chanel Beauté Precious Metal Fall 2011 Collection. I love these eyeshadows – they are so gorgeous and shimmery and very easy to apply. They work well alone or in any combination of colors. Watch the video below…
“The Ritz is my home”, Coco Chanel.
Though Coco Chanel’s infamous apartment is at 31 Rue Cambon, she never slept there. She worked and entertained there but when it was time to retire for the night, she crossed Place Vendôme and went to sleep at her suite at The Ritz. Though she was able to stay at The Ritz during WWII, she lost her suite with a view and was moved to a less coveted suite. Now, if you want to walk in Coco’s footsteps you can stay in her pre-WWII suite at The Ritz – for a mere $11,000 a night that is!
The suite is personalized to give it a sense of Chanel, for example the interlocking C’s on the marble floor. “Coromandel laquerware, rock crystals and large mirrors [also] pay tribute to Mademoiselle Chanel’s personal taste and elegance.” The Coco Chanel Suite includes a living-room, one or two bedrooms, two bathrooms, one of which has a jacuzzi and a steam room, and a view onto the gardens. I would love to stay here just for one night to see how Coco Chanel lived – maybe she would even pay me a visit!
Last night the 2011 Emmy Awards aired and I was watching the red carpet with my eagle eye after hearing rumors that Lea Michelle and Dianna Agron were trying to source vintage Chanel couture for the red carpet. Alas, the ladies did not wear Chanel but Gwyneth Paltrow and Dianna Agron wore Chanel Beauté. Here are details on how to achieve their looks from their celebrity makeup artists themselves.
GWYNETH PALTROW / CELEBRITY MAKEUP ARTIST KATE LEE
“The dress inspired the look. It was very fashion forward, with a nod to the 30s. I wanted to keep her looking youthful and radiant, with an edge.”
Kate prepped Gwyneth’s skin with CHANEL Beauté Initiale Eye Gel and Le Blanc de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base, followed by CHANEL Perfection Lumière Long-Wear Flawless Fluid Makeup SPF 10 and Kanebo Sensai Brush Concealer. Focusing on the eyes, she lined the eyes with CHANEL Le Crayon Kohl Intense Eye Pencil in Noir. She curled the lashes and covered the entire lid with CHANEL Illusion d’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in Emerveille, letting a little go into the inner corners of the lower lid. Then, she used CHANEL Illusion d’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in Fantasme to add a bright shimmering highlight to the center of the lid. She added a soft line of black Shiseido Liquid Eyeliner at the base of the lashes to make them appear fuller, and finished the eyes with a generous amount of CHANEL Inimitable Intense Mascara in Noir on the top and bottom lashes. The brows were perfected with CHANEL Crayon Sourcils Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil in Blond Clair and Anastasia Brow Gel. Kate highlighted the cheekbones with By Terry Rose de Rose Sheer Liquid Blush in Coral Rose and accented the apples with Kevin Aucoin The Creamy Moist Glow Blush in Euphoria. To finish the look, Gwyneth’s lips were defined with Kevin Aucoin The Flesh Tone Lip Pencil in Medium and Kiehl’s Lip Balm.
CHANEL Beauté Initiale Eye Gel, $70.00
CHANEL Perfection Lumière Long-Wear Flawless Fluid Makeup SPF 10
*Available October 2011
DIANNA AGRON / CELEBRITY MAKEUP ARTIST ANGELA LEVIN
“Hollywood movie star with a modern twist.”
Angela prepped Dianna’s skin with CHANEL Sublimage Eye Cream, CHANEL Hydramax Active Moisture Gel Cream, and Jan Marini Age Intervention Prime Face Primer. Then, she applied CHANEL Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup SPF 15 in Beige Tendre to even out her skin. To play up Dianna’s blue dress and green hazel eyes, Angela emphasized the eyes. She lined the eyes using CHANEL Illusion d’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in Mirifique and CHANEL Stylo Yeux Waterproof Longlasting Eyeliner in Ebène. Then, she used the dark grey and the black shades in the CHANEL Quadra Eye Shadow in Smoky Eyes all over the lids, followed by Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in Midnight Blue on the lids and under the lower lash line. The brows were perfected with CHANEL Crayon Sourcils Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil in Brun Naturel and the lashes were finished with CHANEL Inimitable Intense Mascara in Noir. To complete the look, Angela used CHANEL Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Rose Ecrin on the cheeks, followed by Kevin Aucoin The Flesh Tone Lip Pencil in Minimal, CHANEL Rouge Double Intensité Ultra Wear Lip Colour in Rose Morganite, and CHANEL Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lipshine in Canotier.
CHANEL Sublimage Eye Essential Regenerating Eye Cream, $200.00
September 18, 2011
I don’t normally watch Million Dollar Rooms but I heard about a $5million Chanel-inspired closet and I had to see it. This closet is 2 stories, has a replica curved staircase (without mirrors but the railing was copied from 31 rue Cambon), faux Chanel logo black and white $10,000 rug, 18K gold door knobs and 18K $30,000 chandelier from Florence, Italy. Then of course, there are all the Chanel bags, shoes and clothing that this woman owns. I’m so jealous – not in a rage way – but in an “I want your closet” way!
Here’s the whole show – I couldn’t find an embeddable clip for just the closet – but believe me, it’s worth watching!