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La Chanelphile

November 8, 2012

Chanel’s Upcoming Show Locations: Deauville Resort 2013-14 and Scotland Pre-Fall 2013

Coco Chanel Deauville

Coco Chanel and her aunt Adrienne in front of her boutique in Deauville, 1913. Image from “Chanel, A Woman Of Her Own” by Axel Madsen.

In 1913, Chanel opened her boutique in the French resort town of Deauville. To commemorate the 100th anniversary, Chanel will host the upcoming Chanel Resort 2014 collection in Deauville. Karl Lagerfeld told WWD: “My idea is to hire a train, have dinner on the train, do the show in a ballroom and go back at night,” he said. (WWD) What a wonderful way to commemorate the anniversary!

Coco Chanel Deauville

Coco Chanel in front of her boutique in Deauville, 1913. Image from “Coco Chanel, The Legend and the Life” by Justine Picardie, p.68.

Coco Chanel Deauville

Coco Chanel in front of her boutique in Deauville, 1913. Image from “Coco Chanel, The Legend and the Life” by Justine Picardie, p.68.

Chanel has also announced that the next Métiers d’Art show will take place in December at a secret location in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Vogue UK) A few months ago I wrote about how Rosehall, an estate that Coco Chanel shared with the Duke of Westminster that was being converted into a hotel. When I first heard that the Métiers d’Art show was taking place in Scotland my first thought was that it would take place at Rosehall. Alas, the show is taking place in Edinburgh and I can only imagine that it’s because Rosehall is in the countryside in Northern Scotland. I would be surprised though if having the show in Scotland was not influenced at all by the time she spent there with the Duke of Westminster.

coco chanel duke of westminster scotland

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October 30, 2012

Interview with Isée St. John Knowles, President of Société Baudelaire

Isée St. John Knowles with Gabrielle Labrunie

Isée St. John Knowles with Gabrielle Labrunie, Coco Chanel’s great-niece
at the Baudelaire Society and Limouse Foundation headquarters.  Image from Société Baudelaire.

As part of researching Coco Chanel’s relationship with the Société Baudelaire I had the honor of conducting an exclusive interview with Isée St. John Knowles, the President of the Société Baudelaire. I asked him questions about Coco Chanel’s activities with the Société Baudelaire as well as the Muggeridge interview. Please read the interview below…

Exclusive Interview with  Isée St. John Knowles, President, Société Baudelaire

Did you ever have occasion to meet Mlle. Chanel? If so, what could you tell us about her that may not be apparent from photos and biographies? If not, what characteristics did the Société Baudelaire see in her that led them to consider her as candidate for the Honorary Presidency of the Société Baudelaire?

I never had the fortune to meet Coco Chanel, although this could have been arranged. I was a mere 19 years old when she died. Nevertheless, I have researched Chanel for many years, especially her experience of the war. Doubtless, I was impelled by the need to answer the question of Chanel’s Baudelairean authenticity. Why did Baudelaire scholars so seriously entertain her candidature for the Société Baudelaire Honorary Presidency? For Chanel herself would have disavowed any claim to being a Baudelairean exegete. Even her personal library yields no evidence of her ever having read a single critical work on Baudelaire. She had, however, read the author himself and discussed his thinking with leading Société Baudelaire authorities. Moreover, in her own ineffable way, she venerated Baudelaire even before having debated his work. In her conviction, Baudelaire stood for values which she herself had upheld in all her trials from girlhood onwards. She believed that Baudelaire’s insights conferred meaning on her own tragedies, giving her the strength to triumph over them. Not even Chanel’s detractors during the Société’s election campaign would ever have questioned her authenticity as a Baudelairean.

Are you familiar with Hal Vaughan’s recent biography of Coco Chanel, Sleeping With the Enemy? How do you respond to his accusations?

Yes, I am conversant both with Hal Vaughan’s work and with almost all the key documents upon which he constructed his case. For decades, in point of fact, these documents were known to the Société Baudelaire. You ask me how I would respond to his book: in order to sell well, an author needs to simplify the arguments. He must fight shy of historic complexities – abhorred by the average media man. Bear in mind, on the other hand, that the Chanel war story is an intricate puzzle, with many missing pieces, including dates that often defy precision and may even conflict. On such insecure foundations as these, establishing the facts will always be a challenge, and one that must be faced. You will readily appreciate the perplexity of the historian’s task in uncovering the truth about the Chanel war story when I stress that, from Vaughan’s own documentation, conclusions can legitimately be inferred about Chanel’s war conduct that are at variance – and sometimes radically in conflict – with his own. To summarise, if Vaughan has set out objectively-presented facts for his reader, his publication may be regarded as a genuine search for historical truth. If, on the other hand, it puts a construction on the facts adduced such as to infer Chanel’s purported guilt of treason and anti-Semitism, then the book should be read as a fiction targeting desperate American housewives.

Does Hal Vaughan know of the Muggeridge interview? If so, how has Hal Vaughan responded to knowledge of the Muggeridge interview of Coco Chanel?

I concede – reluctantly – that neither Vaughan nor any professional historian can fairly be taxed with failing to include the Muggeridge interview with Chanel held in September 1944. For Muggeridge himself used every possible device to deter future historians. At the meeting, he conceived an aversion for Chanel and, in his memoirs, intentionally minimised her significance. Even so, the Rue Cambon meeting provided the underlying themes for his play, Liberation. Only a historian who knew Muggeridge well – as I did – could have discovered in his compendious archives the unedited version of the Chanel interview. Through my agency, Muggeridge acquainted with its existence Jacques Soustelle and other informed witnesses, and only in its edited version. The unabridged version, which also referred to a third person’s relationship with Muggeridge, was destroyed.

Does the Société Baudelaire retain any of the sketches of Chanel’s Flowers of Evil collection or any information on the plans for the fragrance?

Some sketches for gowns chosen by Chanel to feature in her proposed collection on the Flowers of Evil were published in various fashion journals of the day. At the time, there was no inkling of their future use by the designer to interpret Baudelaire’s poems. Given minimal research into Chanel archives, the aborted fashion show for which they were intended could be reconstructed. Chanel passed on to the Baudelairean painter Limouse the full arguments justifying her choice of poems. For the fragrance, the Société was involved from its conception to its naming by Chanel.

In your opinion, does the House of Chanel still embody the philosophy of the Baudelairean Dandy?

Sadly, with Chanel’s passing, the philosophy of the Baudelairean Dandy has been altogether superseded by the cult of celebrity, as practised by the couturiers of our day. Baudelairean Dandyism is solely concerned with the disinterested aspiration of a singularly noble mind to live according to the highest ideals. And in that, Coco Chanel excelled.

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Filed under: Coco Chanel — Tags: — La Chanelphile @ 4:17 am

October 29, 2012

Coco Chanel and The Société Baudelaire

coco chanel charles baudelaire

A few months ago I came across a website devoted to Coco Chanel created by the Société Baudelaire. I was intrigued because I didn’t understand the connection between Coco Chanel and Charles Baudelaire, a preeminent 19th-century French poet. Upon further investigation, I realized how closely the two were linked.

Coco Chanel Discovers Charles Baudelaire

Coco Chanel became acquainted with the work of Charles Baudelaire through her love, Boy Capel, who introduced a poem called “Bludgeon the Poor” to her. For the full text of “Assommons les Pauvres!” or, “Bludgeon the Poor!” visit the French Poetry Blog. As harsh as the title may seem, the poem is about integrity and redemption and probably struck a chord with Coco Chanel who came from an impoverished background.

baudelaire flowers of evil

Coco Chanel and the Société Baudelaire

Chanel later came in contact with the Société Baudelaire later through another one of her loves the Duke of Westminster who was a Dandy (a term that Baudelaire defined). Since Dandyism has so much to do with one’s appearance and dress, Chanel wanted to be included among the designers who defined French Elegance. She brought sketches of existing designs that she felt illustrated women in several poems to the Société Baudelaire. Dubbed the Flowers of Evil collection (after a book of poems by Baudelaire), she was working on a presentation of the collection, and even a fragrance, both of which did not come to pass unfortunately. Notwithstanding, Coco Chanel began a long relationship with the Société Baudelaire that culminated with her running for president of the Société Baudelaire.

Since Coco Chanel had such a close relationship to the Société Baudelaire, it then made more sense to me why they would create a website devoted to Coco Chanel. Shortly after I found out about the website, I was contacted by a representative of the Société Baudelaire who informed me of another website created by the Société dubbed Chanel’s War, the website publishes the transcript of an interview between Coco Chanel and Malcolm Muggeridge.

Coco Chanel Interview by Malcolm Muggeridge

Malcolm Muggeridge was an MI6 agent, and the only one who interviewed Coco Chanel about her WWII activities. The interview took place in France in 1944 and for the first time, this interview is available to the public to read. In light of distasteful accusations against Coco Chanel made by authors such as Hal Vaughn, the Société Baudelaire felt compelled to defend “the goddess of Baudelairean Dandyism”. The interview is introduced by Gabrielle Labrunie (Chanel’s great-niece and author of ‘Intimate Chanel‘) and features a recent testimony from her about the interview. You can read the full Muggeridge interview of Coco Chanel about her WWII activities in full on the Chanel-Muggeridge.com.

Since it’s in her own words, I find this the most convincing evidence of her WWII activities and I am not convinced by Hal Vaughn’s arguments. I invite you to read the interview yourself and come to your own conclusions.  I would love to hear some of your responses below in the comments.

Tomorrow, I will share an interview I had the honor of conducting with Isée St. John Knowles, the President of the Société Baudelaire.

 

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Filed under: Chanel,Coco Chanel — Tags: — La Chanelphile @ 4:07 am

October 7, 2012

CHANEL N°5 – For the first time – Inside CHANEL

Photo by Jacques Giral – Courtesy of Chanel

For the first time, CHANEL tells its story online at http://Inside-Chanel.com

Chapter 1: the legend of N°5. Journey back in time through the CHANEL archives into the heart of this magical perfume, beginning with the revolutionary moment of its creation.

What better way to prepare for the launch of the new Chanel N°5 campaign featuring Brad Pitt than by celebrating the iconic perfume’s history?

Chanel No 5

Photo by Daniel Jouanneau – Didier Roy

The Story of Chanel N°5 in English:

The Story of Chanel N°5 in French:

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October 4, 2012

Inside Chanel – The Story of Coco & the Chanel Brand

inside chanel coco chanel timeline

Chanel always seems to launch a bunch of things at once. Just off the heels of the Chanel Spring-Summer 2013 Ready-to-Wear collection, Chanel is launching Inside Chanel, a website which gives the inside story of Coco Chanel and the Chanel brand. Right now, the site includes a timeline that documents Coco Chanel from her birth to her death – with all of her milestones in between. The timeline covers the rest of the brands history covering the launch of new product lines, fragrances and notable hires like Jacques Polge and Karl Lagerfeld. Chapter One focuses on the story of Chanel No.5 and has vintage photos of old Chanel ads along with a video. See the website for yourself at Inside-Chanel.com.
Inside Chanel Trailer in English:

Inside Chanel Trailer in French:

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Culture,Chanel Media,Coco Chanel — Tags: , , — La Chanelphile @ 5:30 pm

September 19, 2012

Chanel Links: August & September 2012

chanel links

Chanel Links!

I’ve been out of town most of the past month traveling for my other site MISS so I apologize for the sporadic posting. Of course, the Chanel news does not stop so here are the best tidbits of Chanel-related info from the past few weeks…

Top Coco Chanel quotes on The Smithsonian.com

chanel mini backpacks

It’s official, the 90′s are back – and the mini-backpacks are here to prove it! Another Mag

justine picardie

My favorite Coco Chanel biographer, Justine Picardie was named Harper’s Bazaar U.K.’s new editor-in-chief. WWD

chanel the little black jacket exhibitPhoto by Frederic David courtesy of Chanel

“The Little Black Jacket: CHANEL’s classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld” is heading to London and will run from October 12-28 at the Saatchi Gallery. Artinfo

tokyo chanel camellia karl lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld took some great Chanel camellia photos in Tokyo for i-D Magazine.

A South Korean bar dubbed the “Chanel Business Bar” was ordered to pay Chanel damages for infringing on the Chanel Trademark. Telegraph

chanel 1932 fine jewelry dazed digital

Dazed Digital posted an exclusive shoot featuring the Chanel 1932 Fine Jewelry Collection. Dazed.

lady gaga chanel

Photos by Terry Richardson

Lady Gaga dressed as a black bird and posed in front of Chanel. MTV Style

vanessa paradis chanel jalouse

Vanessa Paradis wears Chanel and Maison Michel on the cover of Jalouse. Coco’s Tea Party

elizabeth olsen bullet

Elizabeth Olsen dons pink hair and Chanel for a Bullett photoshoot. Bullet.

coco chanel as a simpson

Earlier this year, our favorite fashion satirist AleXsandro Palombo illustrated Karl Lagerfeld as a Simpson. He now updates his illustrations with Coco Chanel as a Simpson. Humor Chic

gwen stefani chanel

Gwen Stefani used her Chanel Coco Cocoon bag to run errands. Daily Mail

The Luxury Institute conducted a survey and found that Chanel ranked hightest among women on the Luxury Brand Status Index and was the “leading brand for delivering the best customer experience, and the one most deserving of charging premium prices.” Fashion Broadway World

keira knightley chanel couture vogue cover

Keira Knightley is wearing a look from the Chanel Haute Couture “New Vintage” fall-winter 2012/13 collection on the cover of the October 2012 issue of Vogue.

chanel punk

Chanel will be one of the brands featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute’s spring 2013 exhibition “Punk: Chaos to Couture”. Telegraph

Alexander Khokhlov chanel face illustration

Alexander Khokhlov, a photographer from Moscow took beautiful black & white photos of a model with her face painted with cultural icons – Chanel included. Fubiz

chanel world tricot

In December 2009, I posted about a case brought by World Tricot against Chanel being thrown out of court. The appeals court “fined Chanel 200,000 euros in damages for stealing a design from a local knitwear supplier, overturning a 2009 ruling clearing the fashion house.” Chanel maintains that there was no copying but rather a misunderstanding. AFP

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August 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel!

chanel cake

All true Chanelphiles today wish Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel a happy birthday on what would have been her 129th birthday! Thank you Mademoiselle for making this world a more beautiful place and showing us how to live elegantly.

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Filed under: Chanel,Coco Chanel — Tags: — La Chanelphile @ 4:21 am

August 14, 2012

1st Dibs Chanel Vintage Coco Chanel Birthday Sale

gold tone drop earrings 1970s-1980s

Gold tone drop earrings 1970s-1980s $2200

Back in January I mentioned 1stDibs as one of the best destinations for finding vintage Chanel and they are the home to the Chanel Avant Karl sale featuring rare period Chanel costume jewelry. With Coco Chanel’s birthday approaching this Sunday, August 19th, 1st Dibs is launching a sale tomorrow to commemorate what would have been Mademoiselle Chanel’s 129th birthday. Here’s a preview of what you can expect to find – what better to celebrate Gabrielle Chanel’s birthday than to wear Chanel?

Poured glass earrings 1992 $850

Poured glass earrings 1992 $850

Chanel circa1960s poured glass and gilt metal drop earrings $2950

Chanel circa1960s poured glass and gilt metal drop earrings $2950

gripoix for chanel circa 1981 with poured-glass-sautoirs 3800

Gripoix for Chanel circa 1981 with poured-glass-sautoirs $3800

Chanel blue faceted glass stone cuff $4800

Chanel blue faceted glass stone cuff $4800

chanel goldtone logo earrings $775

Chanel goldtone logo earrings $775

Early Lagerfeld for Chanel multi-stand faux pearl and poured glass cabochon dated 1984 $9500

Early Lagerfeld for Chanel multi-stand faux pearl and poured glass cabochon dated 1984 $9500

Chanel 10-stand faux pearl bracelet

Chanel 10-stand faux pearl bracelet

Source

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Filed under: Chanel,Coco Chanel,Vintage Chanel — Tags: , — La Chanelphile @ 3:34 pm

August 13, 2012

Chanel Links: July and August 2012

chanel links

Chanel Links!

There’s been so much going on and though I don’t have time to do full posts on all Chanel news that comes my way – I still wanted to share some of my favorites…

sanya richards ross chanel
Sanya Richards-Ross won gold in the 400M and the 4x400M wearing Chanel!

Lisa Chaney, author of Chanel: An Intimate Life discusses the life and influence of Coco Chanel in the video below…

You can customize your Firefox tooblar with a “Chanel” add on – I was tempted but found it distracting.

Not everyone can afford Chanel so you can learn how to DIY “Chanel-ify” a cardigan.

chanel fall 2012 ad campaign
You’ve probably seen them by now in magazines but the Chanel ads are out and they were shot by Karl Lagerfeld.

Jacques Polge, Chanel’s nose, discusses Chanel N°5 in the video below – if you don’t see English subtitles, click the CC on the bottom menu.

chanel nail stickers

If only Chanel would make real ones! If you’re dying to have Chanails you can get Chanel-inspired nail stickers.

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August 10, 2012

Flash Back Friday: Aubazine Abbey

aubazine abbey

After her mother’s death when she was eleven, Coco Chanel’s father dropped she and her two sisters off at the orphanage at the abbey at Aubazine in Corrèze, France. Chanel spent six years at the orphanage where leading a simple life where the future designer learned to sew. Much of Coco Chanel’s design lexicon is rooted in her time at the orphanage at Aubazine. From the double-C perhaps inspired by the design on the glass windows, the patterns she saw in the stone floors, the monastic color palette of black and white and the importance Chanel placed on fragrance, much of what we love about Coco Chanel’s brand and designs harken back to her sad days at Aubazine.

aubazine abbey

Since Coco Chanel spent many formative years there I thought it would be great to highlight it in a Flash Back Friday post and I hope one day to visit Aubazine Abbey myself. For a more in-depth look at the influence of Aubazine on Coco Chanel read Justin Picardie’s Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life.

aubazine abbey

aubazine abbey

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