Quantcast

La Chanelphile

October 27, 2010

“Chanel Culture” Exhibit at Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art

The Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art is hosting Chanel Culture, “an exhibition charting the iconic fashion house’s literary and artistic inspirations.”  (WWD, 10.26.10)  Running from January 15, 2011 – March 14, 2011, the exhibit will showcase over 400 items “including clothing, artworks, manuscripts and films.”  The collection will be curated by Jean-Louis Froment, a French art director and critic and will be done with the consent and support of Chanel.  The exhibit will cover Gabrielle Chanel’s life and her relationships with avant garde artists of her time including Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso and Igor Stravinsky through the Karl Lagerfeld tenure.

No word on whether this exhibition will travel but I really hope it will.  As a history buff and Chanelphile, this exhibition is right up my alley!

Share on Tumblr

September 23, 2010

Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes at the V&A Museum

In 1924 Sergei Diaghilev, founder of the Ballets Russes, produced Le Train Bleu, “a ballet combining acrobatics, satire of the period, and pantomime.”  (Chanel and Her World, Edmounde Charles -Roux, p. 206)  His ballets were avant-garde and he imbued his productions with the works of other avant-garde artists of the time including Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Léon Bakst, Giorgio de’ Chirico, Jean Cocteau, Joan Miró, and Coco Chanel. (Diaghilev and the lasting style of the Ballets Russes, Kate Salter, Telegraph)

Coco Chanel created the costumes for Le Train Bleu, a ballet that brought together tennis players, golf champions and sun bathers searching for adventure.  Diaghilev’s direction for the costumes, as given by Cocteau stated:  “Instead of trying to remain this side of the ridiculous in life, to com to terms with it, I would push beyond.  What am I looking for? To be truer than true.”  (Chanel and Her World, Edmounde Charles -Roux, p. 215) Chanel in fact had made a name for herself for shunning the traditional dress of the early twentieth century, which she felt was too costumey.  Rather than designing costumes for Le Train Bleu, Chanel dressed the dancers in actual sports clothes from her collection.  She didn’t attempt to veil reality, but instead, brought it to life.

Chanel’s creationst for the Ballets Russes’ Le Train Bleu can be viewed now at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London in Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, an exhibit featuring the costumes of the Ballet.  I wish I could see this collection for myself.  The costumes show wear and tear from repeated used in performances and don’t have much life in them.  (Diaghilev and the lasting style of the Ballets Russes, Kate Salter, Telegraph)  If you are, or will be, in London, this is a definite must see!

All Images: Chanel and Her World, Edmounde Charles -Roux

Share on Tumblr

June 13, 2009

At the Ballet…

Ballet Costumes Designed by Coco Chanel for "Le Train Bleu" 1924 (Chanel & Her World, Edmonde Charles-Roux, p.214)

Ballet Costumes Designed by Coco Chanel for "Le Train Bleu" 1924 (Chanel & Her World, Edmonde Charles-Roux, p.214)

In the 1920s, Coco Chanel was a rising star in the cultural scene and her social circle included people like Pablo Picasso (cubist painter), Sergei Diaghilev (founder of the Ballet Russes), Jean Cocteau (writer/playwright) and Igor Stravinsky.  Her social relationships transformed into working projects, and because of her illustrious friends, Chanel designed costumes for several ballets.

Now, Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld designed an exclusive costume for Senior Principal Dancer Elena Glurdjidze of the English National Ballet.  The costume is for “The Dying Swan” and took 3 women over 100 hours to make.  The tutu is made of a variety of feathers and is truly a work of art in and of itself.  The costume will make its stage debut on June 16th in London before making its way to Barcelona.  Watch the video below of Elena Glurdjidze gliding down the stairs and performing at the the Chanel Haute Couture Salon…

"The Dying Swan" Ballet Costume Designed by Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel) for the English National Ballet

"The Dying Swan" Ballet Costume Designed by Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel) for the English National Ballet

"The Dying Swan" Ballet Costume Designed by Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel) for the English National Ballet

"The Dying Swan" Ballet Costume Designed by Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel) for the English National Ballet

Share on Tumblr