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La Chanelphile

October 11, 2010

Chanel Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear Inspiration: Last Year at Marienbad

As is usually the case, the set for the Chanel Spring-Summer 2011 Ready-to-Wear show was awe inspiring. I thought it might be tough to outdo a glacier, but Uncle Karl managed to create an atmosphere that brought his creations to life. Inspired by the 1961 French film, Last Year at Marienbad (L’Année dernière à Marienbad), everything from the set design to the clothing was infused by surreal haze of the black and white film.

One of the most dramatic scenes of Last Year at Marienbad takes place in a garden. I’m not sure if it’s the use of Chanel‘s traditional black and white, or trying to replicate the garden in gray-scale from the black and white film (or perhaps a bit of both), but the Chanel set at the Grand Palais was a replica of this garden, complete with fountain.

What makes this film even more sentimental is that Coco Chanel designed the costumes for leading lady, Delphine Seyrig. Dramatic and chic black looks featuring feathers and lace adorned Seyrig in the film and you could see the influence on Karl’s collection. The Spring-Summer 2011 collection featured lots of feathers (in many varieties), as well as black lace. One cloak in particular looks like it came straight out of the film with its epic feather collar.

The trailer for Last Year at Marienbad is below. From what I’ve read, people either love it or hate it, as it’s a “high art” film and is easily misunderstood. Either way, I now have a new movie to add to my Netflix que…

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