La Chanelphile

November 28, 2011

Chanel Links: Thanksgiving 2011 Weekend

I took a much-needed few days off to celebrate Thanksgiving (and my birthday) but that didn’t stop Chanel or Karl Lagerfeld from making the news. Let’s play a little catch-up to see what happened in the Chanel world last week…

karl lagerfeld coco chanel coin
I’m not sure why everyone on the interweb is so surprised that Karl Lagerfeld makes a lot of money considering who he works for and the breadth of his projects – but he does, ok? WWD

karl lagerfeld penKarl Lagerfeld will be donning a new hat - that of editor. In February 2012, “Lagerfeld will guest edit all Metro editions around the world. As part of the project, he will create a series of collectible sketches, illustrations and columns as well as choose the stories for the newspaper and give his notoriously provocative comments on the news of the day.”  Metro

Yoon Seung Ah as Coco Chanel

14 stars were chosen by 15 designers as their ‘muses’, and Chanel picked Yoon Seung Ah in Vogue magazine’s latest pictorial in the December issue. (Not sure which country’s edition of Vogue).  AllKPop

megan hess chanelIllustrator Megan Hess is exhibiting her work at the newly launched The Gallery in Victoria, Australia.  Ragtrader

Chanel J12 AppChanel launched an iPhone App for the J12 and among the features, you can “try one on”.

karl lagerfeld dupont colette

Back in July I posted about the pens and lighters that Karl Lagerfeld designed for S.T. Dupont – you can buy them now on the Colette webshop.

blake lively moma chanel makeup

Blake Lively and Elizabeth Olsen looked gorgeous in Chanel makeup at the Chanel-sponsored MOMA Film Benefit in honor of Pedro Almodovar.  Chanel celebrity makeup artist Angela Levin did Blake Lively’s makeup and Gita Bass did Elizabeth Olsen’s makeup.

Elizabeth Olsen moma chanel makeup

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November 7, 2011

What Would Coco Do Episode 2: Look Chic and Comfortable On Your Commute

what would coco do

Episode two of What Would Coco Do is here!  In case you missed the first episode, What Would Coco Do is a web series where I answer life’s questions as if I were Coco Chanel.  In this episode, I answer a reader’s question on how to look comfortable and chic commuting to work on public transportation.  View the episode to hear “Coco’s” answer…

I’d love to hear your questions! Please leave them in the comments below or email me at gdk@lachanelphile.com.

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Filed under: Chanel,Coco Chanel,What Would Coco Do? — Tags: , — La Chanelphile @ 5:06 am

November 3, 2011

Culture Chanel Website & Beijing Exhibit

Culture Chanel WebsiteBack in January I posted about the Chanel Culture exhibit in Shanghai and the accompanying micro site.  On November 5 through December 13, the exhibit will be shown in Beijing, China at the National Art Museum of China.  You can see images from the exhibit in my previous post on the Chanel Culture exhibit.

Culture Chanel WebsiteIf you won’t be in China any time soon or haven’t had time to pick up one of the many new Coco Chanel biographies, the Chanel Culture micro site is a great place to visit.  The website is fully interactive with replicas of each of the subsections of the exhibit, has photos, audio and never -before-seen videos.  My favorite part of the site is a section for kids (or big kids) which features a Chanel memory game and a Chanel coloring book!  I’m definitely printing out the coloring book images to save for my Tiny Dancer when she is older.  You can view the micro site at http://culture.chanel.com/

Culture Chanel Website

Culture Chanel Website

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Culture,Chanel Media,Coco Chanel — Tags: , , — La Chanelphile @ 4:12 pm

October 28, 2011

Coco Chanel Halloween Costumes

Coco Chanel Halloween Costume
Last week, I showed you how you could put together a Karl Lagerfeld costume for Halloween. Now, here are some tips for putting together a Coco Chanel costume. The best part about a Coco Chanel costume is that you can definitely incorporate these pieces into your existing wardrobe – if you are a Chanelphile chances are you may already have some of these pieces in your closet. Now, if I were a rich girl, all of the items of the costume would be authentic Chanel. Fortunately for those of us with smaller budgets, every brand does their own rendition of the Chanel 2.55 bag, boucle tweed jacket, Verdura cuff, ballet flat and much more.

I selected three of my favorite looks from different times in Coco Chanel’s life – each of the looks are different though there is a consistency in the ease and elegance of each look. Some things are constant throughout: cigarettes, pearls, red lipstick, a bobbed haircut, while the apparel is dictated more by the era – twenties, thirties and sixties. I love all of these looks I don’t know which I would choose – you could always do a different era each year. Happy Halloween!

Coco Chanel Halloween Costume

Coco Chanel Halloween Costume

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Culture,Coco Chanel — Tags: — La Chanelphile @ 5:48 am

October 25, 2011

Assouline Chanel Special Edition with Tweed Chanel Slipcase

Assouline Chanel Books with Tweed Slipcase

In June I posted about a limited-edition set of Chanel books published by Assouline complete with a quilted leather Chanel slipcase.  Assouline is releasing another limited-edition set of Chanel books – in an edition of 30 – but this time the slipcase is a Chanel tweed.  The set with Chanel tweed slipcase will retail for $2,500 each and will be sold at Assouline boutiques and website, in addition to being included in the Neiman Marcus’ Christmas selection.  What a gorgeous addition to a Chanel book collection, no?  At that price though, I think I’d rather have a Boy bag or some jewelry.

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Fragrance,Chanel Jewelry,Chanel Media,Coco Chanel — Tags: — La Chanelphile @ 10:09 pm

October 24, 2011

Chanel Links: Week of 10.20.11

chanel links

I love this Chanel-inspired half-moon manicure! I need those nail decals pronto!  AnotherMag

chanel half moon manicure

Karl Lagerfeld wishes he invented the white shirt and is obsessed with cuff links.  Forbes

Karl Lagerfeld’s advice for surviving the recession?  “Sack your assistant chauffeur!”  Independent

The Ritz in Paris will be closing for two years to undergo renovations – who will keep Coco company? AFP

chanel suite at the ritz

Speaking of hotels Coco Chanel lived in, the Beau Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Switzerland is not too shabby.  Pursuitist

More images of the Spring 2012 Le Vernis collection.  Fashion

spring 2012 chanel nail polish

Check out the playlist from the Chanel Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear show.  Chanel News

The International Center of Photography is showing Harper’s Bazaar: A Decade of Style, an exhibit that features photos by by Karl Lagerfeld as well as a portrait of Uncle Karl.  International Center of Photography

Justine Picardie debates the merits of Chanel handbags.  The Guardian

Can’t afford vintage Chanel? No problem, you can rent it! Style

vintage chanel

Lindsay Lohan wore a Chanel bag to court – in other news, what is up with her blush? Grazia

Diane Kruger wears Chanel Fall 2011 on the red carpet – she looks great but this outfit doesn’t read “red carpet” to me.  Red Carpet Fashion Awards

diane kruger chanel fall 2011Elizabeth Olsen wore Chanel haute couture from the spring 2012 collection – she’s a pretty gril but I have to say that I’m not loving the dress on her – her breasts look flattened and her shoulders seem to broad for this kind of top. Just Jared

elizabeth olsen in chanel haute couture


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October 17, 2011

Book Review: Coco Chanel by Linda Simon

coco chanel by linda simonThe only books I’m reading these days are Chanel biographies because there are at least five books that have come out this fall about Coco Chanel and I’m reviewing them all.    For forty years, writers have tackled the life of Coco Chanel and with the exception of Coco Chanel: The Legend and The Life and Sleeping With the Enemy – where the authors had access to intelligence that was never before available – you may wonder what more can be said on the subject of Coco Chanel’s life.  I was wondering the very same thing when I set out to read Coco Chanel by Linda Simon.

Coco Chanel by Linda Simon is a very quick read going through Chanel’s life from childhood all the way to Karl Lagerfeld picking up the reins.  While many of the aspects of Chanel’s life that are already documented in other biographies are glossed over, Simon distinguishes her biography of Chanel by the wealth of fashion research she has done.  Of all the biographies of Coco Chanel that I have read, Linda Simon’s relies most on fashion primary source materials such as fashion and women’s magazines and newspapers.  For the first time, I learned in detail about the wider context in which Coco Chanel’s fashions were viewed.  While I had read about most of what was in this biography, there were a few facts here and there that I learned from reading Coco Chanel.  If you want something very in depth on Coco Chanel this is probably not the read for you.  If you want to read a book that does a good job of summarizing Chanel’s life, rounded out with a good dose of fashion history then I would recommend this book.  You can purchase Coco Chanel by Linda Simon on Amazon.com.

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Filed under: Chanel,Coco Chanel — Tags: , , — La Chanelphile @ 5:52 am

October 10, 2011

Book Review: Intimate Chanel by Isabelle Fiemeyer

Intimate Chanel by Isabelle Fiemeyer

Everything has been said, written, and filmed about Chanel for four decades now-everything, that is, except the landscape of her private world, her beliefs and inspirations, her attachment to symbolism, spiritualism, and esotericism, to literature and poetry, to the men whom she loved, and above all to her family.
-Isabelle Fiemeyer, Preface, Intimate Chanel

Intimate Chanel, by Isabelle Fiemeyer, is one of the many books coming out this fall telling the story of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s life and as the title suggests it tells a very intimate tale indeed.  What differentiates Intimate Chanel from other biographies is the role of Gabrielle Palasse-Labrunie – Chanel’s only direct descendant.  Not only did Gabrielle Palasse-Labrunie write the forward, but many passages of the book are actual quotes where she recounts private conversations between herself and Coco Chanel – presenting us with “Auntie Coco” a woman very different from Coco Chanel’s public persona.

The gorgeous photographs of Francis Hammond also make Intimate Chanel a very in-depth account of the life of Coco Chanel.  Hammond took photos of Chanel’s personal effects – many never seen before or published – including items from Coco Chanel’s personal wardrobe, her jewels, gifts given to her from the men in her life, favorite furniture pieces, family photos and books with personal inscriptions.  These haunting images together with the passages in Gabrielle Palasse-Labrunie’s own voice truly makes this a personal account of Coco Chanel’s life.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Intimate Chanel and zipped through it in a matter of hours but I know that I will go back to it often to look at the inspiring images.  Intimate Chanel would make a lovely gift for a Chanelphile or a gorgeous addition to any Chanel collection.  You can purchase Intimate Chanel by Isabelle Fiemeyer on Amazon.com.

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Filed under: Chanel,Coco Chanel — Tags: , , , — La Chanelphile @ 5:10 am

September 30, 2011

Book Review: Sleeping With the Enemy – Coco Chanel’s Secret War by Hal Vaughan

When I heard the nasty rumors circulating online about Sleeping With the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War, a new book that unlocks the secrets of Coco Chanel’s WWII wartime activities I had to get my hands on a copy.  After all, Coco Chanel was my idol since childhood and I didn’t want to look up to a Nazi spy.  On the other hand, claiming someone was a Nazi spy is probably one of the worst things you could say about a person – and I wasn’t going to believe such an accusation without some proof.  You see, a long, long time ago (in a land far away), I was an attorney.  Though I no longer practice law, I don’t take accusations lightly and I firmly believe in “innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”  That is the standard by which I deem things such as nasty Nazi spy rumors to be true or false.  After reading Hal Vaughan’s Sleeping With the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War, I am not convinced.

The first half of the book is background information on Chanel and the Paris she inhabited.  There is nothing about her behavior pre-WWII that would cast doubt on her character.  Yet, the tone in which Hal Vaughan writes his book is one of a scorned lover.  Or a woman hater. Or both.  The book reads like a witch hunt and he simply did not like her.  His distaste for Coco Chanel came across in everything he wrote from his description of her appearance to disparaging and sexist comments sprinkled throughout the book.  As I was reading the first half of the book I found myself thinking that if it is with the same analysis that he comes to the Nazi spy conclusions, then his arguments are simply not credible.  But I continued reading and waited to read something convincing.

The second half of the book is where Hal Vaughan lays out his evidence and presents his arguments claiming Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy.  His conclusions are based on archival documents about Chanel’s wartime activities.  Interestingly, Justine Picardie had access to the same documents and devotes two chapters to Chanel’s wartime activities in Coco Chanel: The Legend and The Life, and came to very different conclusions.  How could two people read the same documents and come to such different conclusions?

Hal Vaughan had an idea in his head and he skews the documents to fit his hypothesis, whereas Justine Picardie approached the documents with an analytical eye and also with great knowledge of Coco Chanel.  For example, one set of intelligence records claimed that Coco Chanel was married.  That was simply not true – and something that could easily be verified with state records.  If the intelligence could be wrong about something so easily verifiable, how could you believe anything else in the documents? At the very basis, the source material was not credible.  This is just one example, but there are many more inconsistencies that just don’t add up.  Whereas Hal Vaughan forces the pieces to fit, Justine Picardie lays them out before you and you conclude yourself that there is just no way they can fit together.

Even by giving Hal Vaughan the benefit of the doubt and accepting all of his arguments as true – then Chanel did two things: (1) she unsuccessfully tried to broker peace between Germany and England; and (2) she tried to gain control of her company using anti-Jewish laws.  Picardie addresess both of these issues – Vaughan is not bringing anything new to the table.  But these acts hardly make her a Nazi spy.  Calling someone a Nazi spy implies that she is working for the Nazis.  That simply was not the case.  Though trying to gain control of her company through the use of anti-Jewish laws was unsavory, it also did not make her a Nazi spy.

The final thing that I considered when deciding whose arguments were more convincing were the actual writers themselves.  Justine Picardie, a fashion writer, was the features director of British Vogue and has written for Harper’s BazaarHal Vaughan was a journalist whose writing has been more political in nature.  While Hal Vaughan’s knowledge of Coco Chanel was rudimentary, Justine Picardie literally walked where Coco Chanel walked visiting the convent where Chanel grew up and Chanel’s suite at the Ritz, among other places.  She even tried on Chanel’s very own clothing.  Picardie’s research was so deep that she delved into the very psyche of Coco Chanel.  She knew that Chanel’s greatest creation was her own persona and that you can’t take things at face value when studying Coco Chanel.  When comparing the two – there is in fact no comparison.  Hal Vaughan’s book simply reads as an opportunistic book written to create lots of nasty headlines and rumors online with nothing to back them up.  For that, he did succeed.  In convincing me that Coco Chanel was a Nazi spy, he did not.

If this is issue is important to you I urge you to read both books and come to your own conclusion.  Both books, Sleeping With the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War and Coco Chanel: The Legend and The Life are available online and you can hear the authors themselves debate the issue on BBC radio.

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Filed under: Chanel,Coco Chanel — Tags: , , — La Chanelphile @ 4:46 am

September 27, 2011

Chanel Book Reviews Coming Soon!

Before I went to New York for Fashion Week, I received a bunch of Chanel books.  Just a quick note that I’ll be getting the reviews up shortly.  Working on one right now – hopefully it will be up tomorrow! Back to reading and writing!

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Filed under: Chanel Media,Coco Chanel — Tags: , — La Chanelphile @ 2:10 pm
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