La Chanelphile

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


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

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

Image Source

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

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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