La Chanelphile

August 1, 2012

Chanails! Pray to Santa Coco

chanails nail art design coco chanel

I can’t get enough of Chanails! Each month for the MISS Nails Did 2012 Calendar we choose a different designer product to feature and well, we can’t get enough of Chanel. For the third month this year we are featuring Chanails – but I’m not sure we’re ever going to be able to top this!

August marks the month of our patron saint “Santa Coco” otherwise known to you as Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. The famous Leo had an affinity for astrology and you will find lions all over her apartment at 31 Rue Cambon, as well as emblazoned on buttons and fine jewelry. The way we dress today as modern women all dates back to Coco Chanel – tans, the color black, pants, little black dresses, the iconic quilted bag, sailor stripes, costume jewelry, tweed and jersey for women’s clothing – these were all made popular by Coco Chanel. She not only blazed trails for fashion, but defined what it meant to be a powerful, successful independent woman. Join us as we kneel and pray at the altar of Santa Coco with our Chanails.

Download the free MISS August 2012 “Nails Did” calendar and desktop by clicking here.

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Filed under: Chanel,Coco Chanel — Tags: , — La Chanelphile @ 10:20 am

July 13, 2012

Flash Back Friday: Coco Chanel’s Scottish Getaway Gets a Facelift

coco chanel duke of westminster

In 1923 Coco Chanel met the Duke of Westminster – at the time the wealthiest man in Britain – and the two began a love affair that lasted for most of the remainder of the 1920s. Coco Chanel took time between fittings and collections to visit her lover at the Duke’s vast array of estates. In 1926, he purchased Rosehall Mansion and he let Coco Chanel decorate it to her taste. Two years later, as the relationship was cooling the Duke of Westminster sold Rosehall and since then, has had successive owners and has fallen into disuse and disrepair over the last sixty years. Now, architect firm Bell Ingram has been hired to resuscitate Rosehall’s prior grandeur and transform it into a boutique hotel.

coco chanel rosehall scotland

The director of the project, Iain Cram said his challenge was to meet the requirements of the Highland Council while still trying to “preserve and reinstate the Chanel influence.” Because Rosehall is the only property outside continental Europe with interiors designed by Coco Chanel (and reportedly the home of Scotland’s first bidet), Rosehall is a treasure in Coco Chanel history. Though Rosehall has seen better days, a template of sorts remains in the way of Coco Chanel’s designs including remnants of deep beige wallpaper, hand-painted French wallpaper and even a green color scheme used for the cloakroom – all of these remaining details will help guide the design process.

coco chanel rosehall scotland

Cram stated:

However while it will be impossible to save all the features, we have a real chance to restore this cultural gem to something like its former glory. Our aim is to work very closely with planners to try to utilise every possible remaining feature of the building to ensure its conservation, as well as preserving the influence of Chanel as far as possible…We don’t know what the final interior design will look like, but we do know that it will have a strong nod to the 1920’s era and the time when Coco Chanel lived there.

coco chanel rosehall scotland

I’m glad that Rosehall will be revived to its former glory and I hope the designers do stay true to Coco Chanel’s aesthetic. One of my dreams is to put together a “Coco Chanel” tour and visit or stay in the places she stayed. I hope one day that includes Rosehall Mansion.

coco chanel rosehall scotland

coco chanel rosehall scotland

coco chanel rosehall scotland

To see more wonderful photos of what remains of Rosheall mansion, please visit this Rosehall House – Coco Chanel Interiors Photo Stream by Dazzababes. All photos of Rosehall in this post are from this photo stream.

Source: Deadline News
Source: Telegraph

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Filed under: Coco Chanel — Tags: , — La Chanelphile @ 4:12 am

June 29, 2012

Flash Back Friday: The Legend of the Chanel Logo’s Double C

catherine de medici hair pin chanel

Catherine de Medici's Hairpin with Interlocking Cs found in 2012

Chanel’s iconic interlocking Cs logo is one of the most widely-recognized logos in the world. However, much like Coco Chanel’s life story, much of the origin of the interlocking Cs is shrouded in mystery. A few weeks ago a hairpin belonging to Catherine de Medici, Queen of France in the 16th century, was found at Fontainebleau Palace, a royal residence outside of Paris.  A momentous find, the hairpin was the first possession of the Renaissance queen found in modern history.  But what makes this find most curious of all is the very familiar looking interlocking Cs.

To fully understand the roots of the interlocking Cs we must take a look into the history of France as well as the formative years of Coco Chanel’s life.

queen claude of france catherine de medici coco chanel

The "C" Ladies: Queen Claude of France, Catherine de Medici and Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel

Queen Claude of France

Queen Claude of France is the first person recognized to use the interlocking Cs as her insignia.  The interlocking Cs are found at the Château Royal de Blois, where “the symbol was carved in white in the apartments of France’s Queen Claude, who found in the inital “C” an inspiring personal motto: candidior candidis – the fairest of the fair.”  (The Secret of Chanel Nº5, Tilar J. Mazzeo, p.107)  We get a clearer picture of Queen Claude’s personal apartments  in Catherine de Medici, where the authors state: “the apartments of Queen Claude of France…in which may still be seen, delicately carved, the double C accompanied by figures, purely white, of swans and lilies signifying / candidior candidis / – more white than the whitest – the motto of the queen whose name began, like that of Catherine [de Medici] with a C…” (Catherine ‘de Medici, Honoré de Balzac and Katharine Prescott Wormeley, p.54)

 Catherine de Medici

Queen Claude of France was Catherine de Medici’s mother-in-law – Catherine de Medici joined the French royals upon her marriage to Claude’s second son Henri II.  Having an initial C, like Queen Claude before her, Catherine de Medici adopted the symbol as her own.

Royal insignia of the initials of Henri II and Catherine de Medici can be found at Chenonceau

Royal insignia of the initials of Henri II and Catherine de Medici can be found at Chenonceau. Photo from Historical-Fiction.com

It seems Catherine de Medici and Coco Chanel shared not only the “C” initial but also a penchant for jewels.  Queen Catherine loved lavish jewels but most of her collection was sold, lost or stolen over hundreds of years.  Similarly, Mademoiselle Chanel loved jewelry – both real and fake – and like Queen Catherine, many of her signature pieces were stolen in the hours shortly after her death.  To find a piece of Catherine de Medici’s jewelry now is a significant find, and may help unlock some of the mysteries of the Chanel logo.

As a side note, this is not the only similarity between Catherine de Medici and Coco Chanel – both women loved fragrance as well.  In fact, one of the many rumors surrounding the creation of Chanel Nº5 is that the formula is derived from “the lost ‘miraculous perfume’ of the Medici queens, an elixir said to preserve aging beauties from the ravages of time.”  (The Secret of Chanel Nº5, Tilar J. Mazzeo, p.31)

Château Crémat

Stained Glass window at Chateau de Cremat Chanel Logo

Stained Glass window at Chateau de Cremat, Image from TwentyFourSevenInFrance.com

Another legend says that Coco Chanel saw the interlocking Cs at Château Crémat, a château in Nice that Irène Bretz, and American heiress purchased.  Coco Chanel was friends with Ms. Bretz and attended parties she hosted at Château Crémat and “one summer night Coco Chanel looked up at a vaulted arch at one of  Irène’s famous parties and found inspiration in a Renaissance medallion: two interlocking Cs.” (The Secret of Chanel Nº5, Tilar J. Mazzeo, p.107)

Doorknob from Chateau de Cremat in Nice Chanel Logo

Doorknob from Chateau de Cremat in Nice, Image from DecadesInc.blogspot.com

Chapel at Aubazine

The explanation that Chanel (the modern company) and biographer Justine Picardie subscribe to is that the answer can be found at the Chapel of Aubazine, a Cistercian monastery and abbey that also housed an orphanage where Chanel spent the latter half of her childhood.

chapel aubazine stained glass window coco chanel

Windows from the chapel of Aubazine, Photo from Culture.Chanel.com

Picardie explains:

A few shafts of light pierce the shadows through the opaque grey and pearl-white windows; there is no figurative stained glass in this Cistercian abbey, but the panes form geometric patterns, knots and loops that look eerily like the double C of Chanel’s logo.

(Coco Chanel: The Legend and The Life, Justine Picardie, p. 28).

Capel & Chanel

Justine Picardie also alludes to another meaning behind the double C – Boy Capel and Coco Chanel.  Boy Capel was the love of Coco Chanel’s life and Chanel as we know it today may not even exist without Boy Capel.  In addition to being her lover, Boy Capel was in some ways a founding business partner of Chanel.  He funded her business and her first boutiques and Coco Chanel eventually paid him back his investment.

Coco Chanel and Boy Capel

Coco Chanel and Boy Capel, Image scanned from Coco Chanel by Justine Picardie, p.60

After Boy Capel’s untimely death, interlocking the Cs of Capel and Chanel was a way of keeping them together.  Picardie states:

There was no business contract to bind them together, just as there was no marriage certificate, but it nonetheless joined them, as the double C logo seems to suggest; Chanel and Capel; overlapping, but also facing away from each other.

(Coco Chanel: The Legend and The Life, Justine Picardie, p. 74-5).

The Double C Lives On

We will never know where Coco Chanel found inspiration for the Double C Chanel logo.  It could have been from long lost loves, royal families, her sad childhood, or a combination of them.   What we do know is that the symbol is as mysterious as the woman who made it infamous.

chanel logo

Washington Post
Coco Chanel: The Legend and The Life by Justine Picardie
The Secret of Chanel Nº5, Tilar J. Mazzeo (review coming soon!)
Culture Chanel

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Culture,Coco Chanel — Tags: , , , — La Chanelphile @ 12:39 pm

June 19, 2012

Chanel Link List: May and June 2012

chanel links

Some of these links have been sitting in my drafts since I was in NY in May and I’m finally getting around to posting them. Better late than never!

the coveteur chanel the little black jacket book

The Coveteur did a piece on Chanel jackets celebrating the launch of Chanel’s The Little Black Jacket Book

MAIWENN Chanel Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld selected French film maker Maïwenn to be the face of the Chanel Fall/Winter 2012-2013 eyewear campaign. Vogue.fr

Katy Perry and her ridiculous exit from LAX draped in a Chanel beach towel. (click to see the video)

misia natanson sert by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Misia Sert a/k/a Coco Chanel’s BFF has a museum exhibition at the Musee D’Orsay devoted to her role as Muse to some of the best well-known artists of The Belle Époque. The Daily Beast

Chanel Illusions d'Ombre Riviere, Abstraction and Vision

Check out these previews of new Chanel Illusions d’Ombre colors Riviere (previously limited to Singapore but now available worldwide) and Chanel Illusions d’Ombre colors Vision and Abstraction.

drew barrymore chanel wedding dress

Drew Barrymore married Will Kopelman in Chanel and Karl Lagereld thought she looked “perfect.” I Am Shallow

Chanel-inspired DIY brows

Learn how to make your own bejeweled Chanel-inspired eyebrows. Beautylish

DIY Chanel-inspired transparent bag

Learn how to make your own Chanel-inspired transparent bag. Glitter ‘N Glue

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June 15, 2012

Flash Back Friday: Chanel Fashion Show Video Medley

I watch this video every so often – I love that it’s a medley of different Chanel fashion shows ranging from the 1930s to 1983. One of my favorite things about this video is seeing Coco Chanel in action. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Culture,Coco Chanel,Vintage Chanel — Tags: , , , — La Chanelphile @ 5:32 am

April 3, 2012

Chanel Links: Week of 04.02.12

coco chanel
Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld are listed on TIME Magazine’s list of All-TIME 100 Fashion Icons.

Chanel Illustration by Sem

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel will be inducted into the 2012 FiFi Hall of Fame on May 21. The FiFi Awards are sponsored by the Fragrance Foundation and Jill Belasco, chair of The Fragrance Foundation stated:


Chanel fragrances have reached near mythical status thanks to the vision of Coco Chanel, her enduring commitment to in-house master perfumery and an uncompromising commitment to luxury and quality. To this day, men and women everywhere delight in wearing fragrances marked by the entwined double C’s of Chanel.


Charlotte Casiraghi chanel couture
Charlotte Casiraghi wore Chanel spring-summer 2012 haute couture to the 2012 Monaco Rose Ball in Monte Carlo – I’m not crazy about her modifications I think it looked better on the runway… Red Carpet Fashion Awards

chanel espace parfum bloomingdales
Chanel opened a fragrance bar dubbed Espace Parfum at Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street in NYC – the Espace Parfum will specialize in creating a new experience for discovering Chanel fragrances including Les Exclusifs and other limited distribution scents. WWD

Drew Barrymore is engaged to art consultant Will Kopelman, the son of Arie Kopelman, a former head of Chanel USA, so naturally, the bride will be wearing Chanel.  Brides

karl lagerfeld sketch chanel mobile art
Listen to the DFA Mix by Tim Sweeney (2008) for Chanel Mobile Art Launch – NYC

A new luxury building is being built on Newbury Street in Boston and the first two floors will house a Chanel boutiuque. Boston.com

Karl Lagerfeld’s latest project is to redesign the outside areas of the Métropole Monte-Carlo including a fresco-style depiction of Ulysses’ journey etched on fifteen panels of glass (two pictured above). WWD.

Kristen Stewart wore a Chanel manicure to the 2012 Kids’ Choice Awards.

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March 22, 2012

Book Review: “Coco Chanel, An Intimate Life” by Lisa Chaney

coco chanel an intimate life by lisa chaney
I have been reading Coco Chanel, An Intimate Life by Lisa Chaney for months now and I have finally finished it! It didn’t take me a long time because I didn’t like it, rather I quite enjoyed it. I simply couldn’t find the time to sit and read, one of my great relaxing pleasures. Yes, I could have skimmed the book and written a quick review but I didn’t think that would be fair to you and I really wanted to give the book a full read and I’m glad I did.

Last year so many biographies of Coco Chanel came out and I was wondering if they would all have something new to add and surprisingly, they all do. The general story is the same and Lisa Chaney does a fine job of recounting the tale that Coco told. What distinguishes Chaney’s telling is her historical context. Lisa Chaney dives deep into the societal and cultural mores, and explains in detail what was happening around Chanel. Giving Chanel’s story context helps paint a more detailed picture of the life that Coco Chanel lived. As someone who loves history, I really enjoyed this aspect of Coco Chanel, An Intimate Life and it shed more light on the mysterious Coco Chanel. Coco Chanel, An Intimate Life is available online at Amazon.com.

Listen to an interview of the author Lisa Chaney from NPR:

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Filed under: Chanel,Coco Chanel — Tags: , — La Chanelphile @ 9:59 pm

March 21, 2012

CHANEL – The Little Black Jacket Exhibition Opening in Tokyo

The Little Black Jacket CHANELs classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld

Last night at the G-bldg in Aoyama, CHANEL officially opened the exhibition The Little Black Jacket: CHANEL’s classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld, a celebration of the iconic little black jacket, with Karl Lagerfeld in attendance.

The exhibition set over two floors includes 113 prints depicting celebrities and other personalities in the CHANEL jacket, taken by Karl Lagerfeld and selected from the forthcoming book The Little Black Jacket: CHANEL’s classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld.

Joining Karl Lagerfeld, guests included actress Kiko Mizuhara, architect Junya Ishigami, models Saskia de Brauw, Stella Tenant, Saki Asamiya and Rina Ota, artists Yi Zhou, Ellie and Asami Kiyokama, jewellery designer Harumi De Rola, CHANEL ambassadors Vanessa Paradis, Alice Dellal, Zhou Xun and Gaspard Ulliel and actresses Sarah Jessica Parker, Clémence Poésy and Astrid Bergès- Frisbey.

I REALLY hope this exhibition travels to the U.S. – I would love to see it! If the exhibition doesn’t travel we’ll always have the book though we’ll have to wait until this fall. The Little Black Jacket: CHANEL’s classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld, will be available in bookstores beginning autumn 2012.

The Exhibition runs from March 24th to April 15th
11AM-7PM from Monday to Friday
11AM-8PM Saturday and Sunday
Free entrance
G-building Minami Aoyama
Minami Aoyama 5-4-48
Minato-Ku, Tokyo

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March 19, 2012

Photos and Letters from Coco Chanel Auctioned

serge lifar coco chanel ballet russes
Last week there was an auction of Serge Lifar’s Ballet Russes archive in Geneva, Switzerland. Serge Lifar was a good friend of Coco Chanel’s and the principal dancer of the Ballet Russes in the late 1920′s – a Ballet company that Coco Chanel patronized and she designed costumes for.

Serge Lifar’s archive included signed photos of Coco Chanel and a letter from Coco to him. The letter from Coco Chanel was estimated to fetch $500 at auction but instead the winning bid was $450,000. The letter was accompanied with two black and white photos of Coco Chanel. That’s better than any autograph, imagine owning something written in Mlle. Chanel’s own hand!  This is a big deal for so many reasons, especially since she did not keep written correspondence instead destroying her paper trail.  The collection also included some photos of Coco Chanel that I have not seen before – view all the Coco Chanel-related materials that went to auction below…


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Filed under: Coco Chanel — Tags: — La Chanelphile @ 9:18 pm

March 1, 2012

Darcel Karl Lagerfeld & Coco Chanel for Colette’s 15th Anniversary

darcel coco chanel colette

Craig Redman, an artist known for his Darcel character, has given Darcel a fashion makeover to celebrate French boutique Colette’s 15th Anniversary.  Included among his 150 illustrations are Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld.  If you are in Paris stop by the boutique to see all of the illustrations.  If you can’t see the exhibit yourself you can purchase a print online at Colette.fr.

darcel karl lagerfeld colette

150/15 from Darcel Disappoints on Vimeo.

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Culture,Coco Chanel,Karl Lagerfeld — Tags: , , — La Chanelphile @ 4:22 pm
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