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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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October 8, 2010

Chanel Spring-Summer 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Feminine. Gorgeous. Frayed. The Chanel Spring-Summer 2011 Ready-to-Wear collection is an exercise of beautiful decay. Fabrics were frayed and had a look of wear and tear that added an edge to the otherwise frilly pieces. A color palette of the iconic Chanel black and white with splashes of pastels adorned an otherwise black-scale French garden set at the Grand Palais in Paris.  An eighty-piece orchestra accompanied the models as they sashayed to the music of Björk, the Verve, and John “007″ Barry.

Apparel
The traditional Chanel suit was updated with a few twists: 3/4 sleeve and short sleeve swing coats, large lapels and short shorts instead of skirts. The shorts were very tiny and I wonder if real women can pull them off. To me, they seem like they would only look good on supermodels who are super skinny and have legs that go on for days. Many of the looks were embellished with flowers, feathers and/or lace making the looks ultra-feminine and etheral. One of the most exciting parts of the apparel collection was Chanel for bébé – a little boy walking hand-in-hand with a male model donning a Chanel jacket. No official word, but maybe this is a hint at a children’s collection to come.

Accessories
As is always the case for me, the accessories stole the show. My mouth literally watered as I went through the detail shots of the shoe. Uncle Karl never forgets about the dainty digits and his gloves for this collection were awesome. From zippered to cut out, from floral to metal mesh – the gloves in this collection were stunning. The costume jewelry included usual suspects like pearl strands and cuffs but also included a lot of metal chain work with multiple strands. Clear chunky bangle bracelets with pastel colored stripes were fun way to add color to monochrome outfits.

The quilted bags were gorgeous and one of my absolute favorites was the oversize clutch with oversize quilting. Available in several colors, my desire for this bag is only second to my desire for a classic 2.55. The very best accessory totally stole the show – and it was the most unique one of its kind that I have ever seen. A model walked the runway with an oversize umbrella that was shaped like a hat – so simple, yet so GENIUS! This umbrella is easily the best umbrella ever created.  I don’t have much to say about the shoes (gasp!) because I didn’t like them :(

Beauty
Peter Philips always does a wonderful job of translating Karl Lagerfeld’s sketches into actual looks. A neutral face was highlighted by a very dark smokey eye, the color echoing the black-scale garden set. Hair was straight and pulled back with side or center parts with all parts having a black line drawn in giving us a new use for black pencil eyeliner. Nails were painted in what looked like a dark grey gunmetal color called Black Pearl. More details to come on the Beauté collection.

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July 12, 2010

Chanel Fall/Winter 2010-2011 Haute Couture Show Soundtrack

Music is a big part of creating ambiance and I love the tunes at Chanel because I’m always introduced to something new.  Here are the tunes that filled the air of the Grand Palais in Paris:

Timothy Andres
“Antennae”, Shy and Mighty
Nonesuch Records 2010

Timothy Andres – Antennae

Found at Antennae on Duck.fm

Lou Reed and John Cale
“Small Town”, Songs For Drella
Sire/Warner Records 1990

Chilly Gonzales
“Never Stop (Piano-Pella)”
Phantasy Sound Limited 2010

Gonzales
“Knight Moves”, Ivory Tower

Arts & Crafts 2010

Image from Chanel News

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July 10, 2010

Chanel 2010-2011 Fall/Winter Haute Couture Review

The Chanel Fall/Winter 2010-2011 Haute Couture show at the Grand Palais was a grand spectacle complete with a forty-foot lion.  But even the lioness could not outshine the clothing and accessories that Uncle Karl designed.

The overall silhouette was a play on layers, length and shoulders.  Strong shoulders have been popular for a few seasons now, but the Chanel strong shoulder was different.  It’s very soft and round, but strong in the sense that it is exaggerated.  Almost all of the looks had the rounded, sculptural shoulder paired with a 3/4 length sleeve.  The looks that didn’t have the rounded shoulder were sleeveless and the models’ bare shoulders were reminiscent of the roundness of the sleeved jackets.

Lagerfeld also played with length in this collection.  From 3/4 sleeve jackets, to long blouses paired with cropped jackets, to-the-knee skirts and dresses to calf-length dresses and skirts.  Most of the hemlines were on the short side – even the formal dresses.

The color palette is one suited for fall – rich jewel tones like garnet, topaz, and sapphire paired with rich browns, camel and black.  Lush fabrics like warm tweeds paired with luxe fur; brocade fabric with rich beading and embroidery, dresses embellished with strings of pearls.  The overall look is very luxurious and rich – think ladies who lunch.

I must confess, the clothing was not my favorite this season.  I wasn’t a very big fan of the big rounded shoulders.  What stole the show for me was the accessories.  These boots were definitely made for walking – slouchy, ruched, metallic, beaded, and with the iconic black toe cap – every look had an ankle boot to match.

The accessories that had me drooling were the large chunky bangle bracelets – bejeweled with chains hanging and layered – the bracelets were the perfect match for the 3/4 sleeve and sleeveless looks.  Brooches and belt buckles had similar looks with chains dripping from them with lion heads at the center.  A collection certainly made to make you roar!

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July 8, 2010

“I Am Chanel, Hear Me Roar”

Chanel 2010-2011 Fall/Winter Haute Couture

I didn’t think that Karl could outdo a giant glacier as the centerpiece for a runway show – but somehow he did.  On Tuesday, Chanel unveiled its Fall/Winter 2010-2011 Haute Couture show at the Grand Palais in Paris with an “8-ton, 40-foot-tall golden lion, [with] its paw perched on an enormous pearl” serving as the backdrop.  (WWD).

The inspiration for the lion is clear – born on August 19th, Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel was a Leo.  She loved lions and they surfaced everywhere from her apartment decor, buttons and even her gravestone.  The centerpiece for the haute couture runway show is a replica of a marble sculpture from her infamous apartment at 31 Rue Cambon. “Gabrielle Chanel surrounded herself with models of lions in wood, silver, bronze or alabaster…[and t]he lion became a timeless biographical seal on numerous of her creations.” (Chanel News).

Chanel herself, felt a close affinity with lions: “August 19th is my birthday. I was born under the sign of Leo. I am a Leo and, like a lion, I use my claws to prevent people from doing me harm, but, believe me, I suffer more from scratching than from being scratched.”

The lion inspired some of her creations and lion heads were commonly found embossed on the buttons of her iconic tweed suits.

Indeed, Mlle. Chanel’s love for lions are eternal – her gravestone has 5 lion heads carved onto it.

Not only is Karl Lagerfeld an ingenious designer, he truly respects and understands the woman that Coco Chanel was. He stays true to what inspired her and he gives it all a modern twist. Of course, he is one of the few people in the world who has access to her apartments and archives (what I would do to be a fly on the wall!). I hope that his successor will have the same respect for Chanel’s vision.

Chanel 2010-2011 Fall/Winter Haute Couture

Chanel 2010-2011 Fall/Winter Haute Couture

Chanel 2010-2011 Fall/Winter Haute Couture

Image Credits:

Runway show & apartment images: Chanel News

Chanel Button: Chanel: Collections & Creations

Chanel Gravestone: Ballyshannon

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October 13, 2009

Behind the Scenes of the Chanel Spring 2010 RTW Show

Lily Allen preparing fo Chanel Spring 2010 RTW

Lily Allen preparing fo Chanel Spring 2010 RTW

Chanel recently hosted the Sprig 2010 Ready to Wear collection at the Grand Palais in Paris where the country atmosphere was inspired by Fragonard’s artwork and Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet at Versailles.

Below you’ll find some behind the scenes shots as Lily Allen prepared for her performance at the show, as well as some behind the scenes photos of the Spring 2010 look book photoshoot.

Brass Shaft of Wheat from Cco Chanel's Apartment at 31 Rue Cambon

Brass Shaft of Wheat from Cco Chanel's Apartment at 31 Rue Cambon

The shaft of wheat pictured above is from Coco Chanel’s apartment and inspired, in part, the Chanel Spring 2010 collection. The shafts of wheat were Mlle. Chanel’s lucky charm, symbolizing “creativity that never ends.” Wheat makes an appearance in all of the rooms of her apartment from a brass bouquet, to a single shaft of wheat painted by Dalí himself just for Coco. Wheat played a large role in the collection from being tucked into the models’ hair to the bride’s bouquet at the close of the show. The wheat was definitely lucky for Chanel this season as it was a gorgeous collection and stunning presentation.

Images

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