La Chanelphile

May 26, 2011

Boy Chanel Bag Collection

chanel boy bag collection
I was intrigued by these bags when I first saw them on the runway during the Chanel Fall-Winter 2011/12 presentation but the more I see them, the more I want them. PurseBlog has the inside scoop on the new Chanel Boy collection of handbags along with some nice product shots.

You won’t see any quilting on the bags in the Chanel Boy Bag collection but you will see the signature chain strap – though it’s a much thicker, heavier chain. The bag can be worn over the shoulder or across the body in the same way the 2.55 can be worn.

Long inspired by menswear, the Boy Bag collection is said to be inspired by cartridge bags used by hunters. Karl Lagerfeld stated: “Chanel used men’s underwear to make dresses; she had this boyish attitude, in fact it is the very spirit of Chanel. She got it from Boy Capel, the great love of her life, which, incidentally, explains why the new bag is called the Boy Chanel.”

The Boy Chanel Bags come in black, ivory, flat red, intense grey and lead green – all in glazed calf skin.  I’d be happy with any of the colors and sizes but I have a small, red Boy bag on my wish list.  The bags come in three sizes – the small being a purse and the large being a tote and they range in price from $2500 – $4300.

I love these bags.  I love the simplicity, the thick chain and the embossed Chanel logo on the “spine” – it looks very much like a book.  How nice to have a “library” of these bags, non?  The bags hit shelves in August so start saving up your pretty pennies now – I know I am!


chanel boy bag collection

chanel boy bag collection

chanel boy bag collection

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Filed under: Chanel Handbags — Tags: , , — La Chanelphile @ 12:07 am

May 25, 2011

Chanel Introduces New Fragrances for Fall 2011

Chanel No.19 Poudré

Chanel is introducing two new fragrances: Chanel No. 19 Poudré, a re-imagining of Chanel No. 19 with the addition of Iris notes and Jersey, an addition to the Les Exclusifs range.  I love Les Exclusifs because the scents are so light and they are named after places and things important to the history of the house of Chanel.  Jersey was one of Chanel’s favorite fabrics and was the first fabric she designed apparel with when she made the transition from milliner to couturier.  Chanel No. 19 Poudré and Les Exclusifs Jersey will be out this Fall.

Interview with Jacques Polge, famed “nose” of Chanel that has created over thirty fragrances, republished from WWD:

jacques polge chanel nose

How have you seen the business evolve since you joined Chanel in 1978?
Unfortunately, I’d say perfumes have become trivialized today. There are too many! It’s become so easy, everyone is launching one. But they’re also trivialized where they’re sold, or when you open a magazine now, it’s full of perfumes. We try to fight against that here, but we’re also directed by the waves of the market. That’s just how it is. Also, now we only speak of global perfumes. There used to be an American perfumery that had different criteria than in France. Traditionally in France, good taste meant having some discretion. In America, and I’m speaking in broad strokes here, the idea was more that perfume was something expensive, and so you should really smell it. Today, brands have replaced national traditions, and brands do their fragrances for the whole world.

Has your creative process changed a lot?
I’m not sure it’s changed, but I know more now about Chanel and where I think we’re going than when I joined. It’s something I feel much better about than I used to. Our creative strategy is always to look within the roots of the company, and when I started, the only fragrance we were really selling was No.5. Now we have Coco and Coco Mademoiselle and others, too, so that’s great. But here, every new fragrance has to be different, and occupy a space where there is no fragrance. So the process is always new. And we’re constantly trying to find better and newer raw materials, ones that only we have.

What was the last new ingredient that blew your mind?
We’ve found some new musks that are very interesting, and we are working a lot at the moment on iris, which is a very important ingredient in No.19 Poudré. We have our plantations in Grasse, with rose and jasmine, and we’re trying to find new qualities in those. But we’re also trying to reproduce what was done 40 years ago, that nobody does anymore. Iris, for instance, is a very special product. It has a long processing time. You plant it. Then you remove the roots and dry them for three years to augment the irone, or the scent principle. Then you put it through some other processes so that only the purest part remains. No one does that anymore, because no one has the time. Sourcing iris is also difficult. So much of it comes from China now and it has a different scent. In this way, it’s not that we’re always doing totally new things, we’re also maintaining the artisanal side, and doing what no one does anymore. That combination gives us a result that no one else has.

And with your lab, you have greater control. You are somewhat unique in that, no?
Though Monsieur Beaux created No.5 in 1921, the company has had a fragrance arm since 1925. Since then, Chanel has always created its own products. In that sense it’s unique. There are other companies now that have their own labs, like Dior, and Hermès. Then there are others who closed theirs, like Lanvin. Guerlain has their own, but they haven’t made every single scent there. We buy products from firms like IFF and Firmenich, too, of course. There are lots of ways of working. But I can say we’re the only company that has both had its own lab and made all its own scents since the beginning.

What’s a perfumery trend you don’t love?
Those fragrances they call “marine scents.” I’ve never liked those. They discover two ingredients that people say smell like the sea, but to me, the sea never smelled like that! “Trend” is a difficult word. We don’t want to follow trends as much as create them, but it’s true that perfumes are very allied to fashion and fashion dictates trends. We had minimalist fashion at the same time that perfume started to return to very pure florals like L’Eau d’Issey and Estée Lauder’s Pleasures. Perfumes do follow fashion.

Even if they’re supposed to stay relevant for much longer?
Absolutely. The complicated part for us is we have so much to choose from. Monsieur Lagerfeld does six collections a year and we create a totally new perfume, not a variation, maybe once every 10 years.

Speaking of trends, you have avoided unisex entirely.
I find unisex interesting, but it’s true, it’s not a direction that we have taken. That said, there’s been a considerable evolution of what we call feminine scents and masculine scents. None of that is as simple as it used to be. How much masculinity do we put in a feminine fragrance, and vice versa? That changes. Sycomore, one of the Les Exclusifs, has lots of vetiver, and vetiver has usually been considered a masculine scent. Though it was conceived as a women’s fragrance, a lot of men are wearing it, too. If I had wanted to make it for men, I’d have done it slightly differently, but I’m pleased as long as people like it!

Do you believe in mentors?
When I was young, there were older perfumers and professors who impressed me a lot, but I wonder if it’s possible to have a mentor, really, in this métier. There’s no nose that resembles another. I’d say we have affinities for each other. It’s a small world. Then again, my son now works for IFF, developing fragrances for other fashion houses, and I have helped others start, as well. If I find someone I think seems intelligent, I’ll push them to do fragrance. Someone who works well, works well. I don’t want to make a comparison that sounds pretentious, but Pablo Picasso would have been a success at whatever he did. He could surely have been a great banker.

How do you know when a scent is finally finished and ready to be released?

It’s never finished. Sure, at one point you have to stop, but if they let me…let’s just say I can easily imagine a perfumer working on the same fragrance his whole life, like the painter Pierre Bonnard, whom they caught at the museum trying to retouch his canvasses. In another sense, perfume is never done because we manufacture our catalogue constantly, and we use a lot of natural ingredients, so we also have to control a lot for consistency. And then if we find a new raw material that complements something we already have, maybe we’ll do a variation. In that sense, a finished perfume isn’t ever really “finished” either. We had Coco and then 10 years later, Coco Mademoiselle.

What’s your favorite fragrance not created by you?
I will never denigrate my confreres, but I’m not going to advertise them, either! That said, we all love the first perfumes made by the great houses, like Guerlain or Coty, because that’s the beginning of it all. There’s a type of conversation that happens in perfumery. When Coty did Chypre de Coty, Guerlain did Mitsouko. If we try to name all the fragrances with a relation to Shalimar, we’d be in the hundreds. I will say there’s a perfume by Schiaparelli that’s now gone called Shocking. I worked for the company that made it before I was at Chanel and it still interests me. It has a lot of patchouli and every time I work with patchouli, I think of it.

What about favorites among your own?
I’d say Allure for women, because it’s very simple and when I smell it on a woman it’s very pleasant. It has great potential, though unfortunately, I’m not criticizing, but the company doesn’t push it compared to others. You can’t push them all. I’m also very fond of Égoïste. It’s a perfume for men like no other because of that accord between spice and sandalwood. It was derived from Chanel’s Bois des Îles, a women’s scent, and it wasn’t a big success, but I think people remember it.

Do you have to protect your nose? If you have a cold, do you not show up for work?
No, I’m here! I take no precautions. When we’re sick, of course, we’re handicapped, but oddly there are some things you smell then that you don’t when you’re well. With a little experience, a perfume formula is something you can read, too, like a musician can read music. Also, I don’t take precautions because though I might propose perfumes, it’s everyone else who judges them and makes them a success. You have to guard against becoming too specialized.

You studied poetry. Do you see a connection in that to what you do now?
Perfume is a poetic form. It’s a language that uses neither words nor images, and yet it’s one everyone can speak in their own way. [Jean] Cocteau said, “I sculpt the invisible,” and that’s an idea that works for me, too.

What do you do to relax?
Nothing at all! Relaxing is important.

How do you work within the pressure of a massive enterprise and stay creatively free?
You’d better stay free! You know for me, ultimately I don’t see an opposition between commercial and noncommercial. Good perfumes are perfumes that sell. I have no problem with that. But at the same time, you have to start with a perfume you love. Even if no one else does, at least you do!

What’s something a perfumer should never be?
Sure of himself.

Being sure of yourself and doing creative work is a fatal combination. You always have to doubt.


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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Fragrance — Tags: — La Chanelphile @ 10:07 pm

Chanel Links: May 25, 2011

chanel links
Lots of interesting Chanel news going on lately – when it rains, it pours! Click, click for more reading…

chanel no. 5 chanel coco mademoiselle bleu de chanel

In a new rating of 2010 Best Fragrances, Chanel Coco Mademoiselle ranked #1 for and Chanel No. 5 ranked as #4 for women’s fragrances and Bleu de Chanel ranked as #3 for men’s fragrances, via WWD.

jen brill chanel the coveteurChanel ambassador Jen Brill played in the Chanel archives for a shoot for The Coveteur – so jalouse! The Coveteur

Uniqlo has teamed up with Vogue Nippon and GQ Nippon and various artists including Karl Lagerfeld to produce Save Japan tees. Her World

A Question Of has produced a tee with Karl Lagerfeld’s likeness called “Conscious Karl” – you can purchase the tee on their online shop.

Bergdorf Goodman unveiled a new Chanel boutique that looks like a “luxuriously appointed residence mirroring the brand’s styles and fabrics.” WWD.

The Chambre Syndicale is hosting a very fancy couture bash at Versaille on July 7th “to inaugurate an exhibition charting the influence of 18th-century France on contemporary fashions” and of course, Chanel pieces will be in the exhibition, via WWD.

chanel fine jewelry chanel j12

“The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) on Tuesday announced that Chanel, a Member of the Council, has become certified against the ethical, human rights, social and environmental standards established by the RJC’s Member Certification System.”  IDEX

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Boutiques,Chanel Culture,Chanel Fragrance,Karl Lagerfeld — La Chanelphile @ 5:09 am

May 24, 2011


Chanel recently posteda short film showing some of the best sunglasses from recent collections. It seems to be the first episode in a series. I love all the sunglasses – especially the ones from the Chanel 2009/10 Cruise collection shown in Venice that look like opera glasses!

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Eyewear — Tags: — La Chanelphile @ 11:41 pm

Estella Warren, Former Chanel No.5 Model Arrested

estella warren chanel no 5Former Chanel No.5 model Estella Warren was arrested on suspicion of DUI.  She allegedly crashed her Prius into three parked cars, assaulted a police officer and tried to escape arrest.  The actress and model’s friends have been concerned about her drinking and hopefully this incident, though unfortunate, will be a wake up call for her.  At least no one was hurt.  We wish her well.


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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Fragrance — La Chanelphile @ 11:13 pm

Kirsten Dunst in Chanel Couture & Chanel Beauté

kirsten dunst in chanel couture cannes film festivalIt seems Kirsten Dunst was having a Chanel moment in Cannes from the Chanel couture gown she wore to the amfAR Gala to the Chanel couture gown she wore to accept the award for Best Actress for her role in Melancholia.  I love the dress that Dunst wore to the award ceremony, very feminine and detailed.  I’m sure upon closer inspection the amount of handwork that is in the bodice is baffling.  I also love the tiered flow-y bottom of the dress – there’s a hint of sheerness on the bottom but I don’t mind it because it starts so low.  Her makeup for the award ceremony and for the premiere of Melancholia was Chanel Beauté and she looked lovely. Details on how to get the looks are below.

Kirsten Dunst in Chanel Couture & Chanel Beauté
Film Festival Awards:
To complement the award-winning actress’s CHANEL Haute Couture strapless dress, Sabrina created Kirsten’s gorgeous, glowing face using CHANEL Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup SPF 15 in Beige Rosé Tendre and highlighting her cheeks with CHANEL Powder Blush in Rose Écrin (available July 2011), Kirsten’s eyes were adorned with Illusion D’Ombre de Chanel Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in Epatant (available July 2011) and her lashes were lengthened with CHANEL Inimitable Intense Mascara in Noir. Sabrina finished the look with CHANEL Rouge Allure Lipstick in Passion.

Kirsten Dunst in Chanel Beauté
Melancholia Premiere:
For Kirsten’s first red carpet appearance at Cannes, Sabrina used CHANEL Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup SPF 15 in Beige Rosé Tendre to highlight her complexion and CHANEL Powder Blush in Rose Écrin (available July 2011) on the cheeks. Sabrina used Illusion D’Ombre de Chanel Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in Emerveillé (available July 2011) on the eyelids to create a neutral shimmer, and Precision Eye Definer in Khaki Platine (available July 2011) to define the eyes. To complete the look she used CHANEL Inimitable Mascara in Noir on the eyelashes and applied CHANEL Rouge Allure Lipstick in Enthusiast to the lips.

Images: Just Jared & Style Bistro

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May 23, 2011

“Coco” Musical Takes The Stage in London

coco musical katharine hepburnIn 1969, Katharine Hepburn starred as Coco Chanel in Coco a musical comedy on Broadway about Mlle. Chanel herself.  The producer, Fred Brisson, had been trying to get permission from Coco Chanel to do a musical based upon her life and after years of persuasion, Chanel finally consented.  At the time, Coco was the most expensive Broadway production to ever grace the NYC stages.  The 250 costumes, based on the designs of Coco Chanel, were designed by Sir Cecil Beaton.  (Info and Image above from Chanel and Her World: Friends, Fashion and Fame by Edmonde Charles – Roux, p. 372-73).

Having read many biographies on Gabrielle Chanel, a musical comedy doesn’t really seem fitting for her life (a moody art film seems more like it).  Coco didn’t do to well with the critics but it sold our shows night after night.  Well, now Coco is being reprived by London’s Sadler’s Wells Theater as part of a series called Lost Musicals 2011 – a European premier.  If you are in the area this may be fun to check out.  The show runs in May and June and tickets can be purchased online.

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May 21, 2011

Reader Submission: Vanessa Vanni & Her Autographed Chanel Jumbo 2.55

vanessa vani chanel x colette pop up boutique

Hello lovelies! One of our fellow Chanelphiles wrote in to share some photos that have me green with envy.  Vanessa Vanni went to the Chanel x Colette Pop Up Boutique and was able to get her red Chanel Jumbo 2.55 signed by Karl Lagerfeld himself!  Ah!  It doesn’t get much better than that.  You’re a lucky girl Vanessa – thanks for sharing!

karl lagerfeld chanel x colette pop up boutique

If you have any photos of yourself wearing Chanel or others who wear it well, please don’t hesitate to send your submissions in.  You can send submissions to gdk@lachanelphile.com.  I can’t wait to see what you send in!

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Handbags — La Chanelphile @ 5:41 am

May 20, 2011

Real Chanel Tattoos – A Permanent Impression

Last year Chanel started yet another fad – the temporary tattoo.  Sure temporary tattoos have been around a long time but Chanel made them chic.  Some people have taken their love for the brand a step further and made their marks permanent – with real Chanel tattoos.

I don’t hate or love these – rather, I feel the same way about these tattoos as I do all other tattoos. I think they’re cool for now but will you want to be rockin’ a tattoo at 70 with your grandchildren on your lap?  I don’t – sagging, wrinkly tattoos are not a good look!  And besides, I don’t think Coco Chanel would like them – so any true Chanelphile would probably not get any permanent ink.

What do you think? Do you have a Chanel tattoo? Would you get one?

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Lifestyle Products — Tags: , — La Chanelphile @ 4:45 am

May 19, 2011

Kirsten Dunst in Chanel Haute Couture at 2011 amfAR Gala

Kirsten Dunst in spring 2011 chanel haute couture at 2011 amfAR Gala

Kirsten Dunst wore a gown from the Spring 2011 Chanel Haute Couture collection to the amfAR Gala.  The dress looks the same as it did on the runway – with the exception of the waist.  On the runway, the dress had an empire waist, while on Kirsten the waist is lowered and a satin belt was added.  I think she wore it well and I think it suits her but I think I like the runway version better (and the shoes!!).  The detailing on the top is just gorgeous but I don’t love this dress.  I just don’t like the sheer bottom dresses that are so popular right now – not my cup of tea.  If the lining of the dress extended to the bottom then I would love this dress.  What do you think?

Source: Style & JustJared

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