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Chanel Fashion, News & Trends

La Chanelphile

December 8, 2011

The Original Chanel Paris-Bombay: Vintage Chanel Bombay-Inspired Designs

vintage coco chanel designs paris bombay

Silk Lamé tunic and trouser ensemble; Bib Necklace, Gabrielle Chanel, Spring/Summer 1969. Image from Chanel: Couture and Industry by Amy de la Haye

“In the late Fifties, early Sixties, she designed several Indian-inspired outfits — and that was enough.”
-Karl Lagerfeld, WWD

Karl Lagerfeld’s creativity knows no bounds, but what I love about him as the designer for Chanel is that he utterly respects the foundations that Gabrielle Chanel laid. With each Chanel Métiers D’Art collection he takes us on a trip around the globe to view a visual fusion of Paris and some glamorous destination. But these destinations are not pulled out of his magician’s hat (or fingerless gloves), rather, they are based on clues that Gabrielle Chanel left us long ago.

Having access to the Chanel archives, Karl Lagerfeld knew that Chanel herself was inspired by South Asia and designed clothing and jewelry in the sixties that were Indian-inspired.  Reviewing some of my Chanel books, I was able to cull some examples for you to see.  It’s interesting to see how glitzy previous examples are and how subdued the current Chanel Métiers D’Art Pre-Fall 2012 Paris-Bombay collection is.  It’s also interesting to note that this is not the first time that Karl Lagerfeld has referenced this South Asian inspiration.  The bottom two photos show images of Karl Lagerfeld designs for Chanel from previous collections .

vintage coco chanel designs paris bombay

Evening Suit, Mughal patterned gold lamé and silk brocade, Gabrielle Chanel, 1960. Image from Chanel: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibition Catalog

vintage chanel designs paris bombay

Evening Ensemble, Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld, Haute Couture Autumn/Winter 1989-90. Image from Chanel: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibition Catalog

vintage chanel designs paris bombay

Evening Suit, Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld, Prêt-à-porter, Autumn/Winter 1996-97. Image from Chanel: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibition Catalog

 

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