La Chanelphile

April 24, 2012

Chanel Sponsors Tribeca Film Festival Art Awards

Patronizing the arts is in the Chanel brand DNA stemming back to the days of Coco Chanel and the Ballets Russes.  One of the current art projects that Chanel partners with is the Tribeca Film Festival.  This year, the festival awards are works of art themselves which will be exhibited and then awarded to eleven winners.  The eleven works of contemporary art are introduced in a preview video by Scott Thrift which you can view below…

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Culture — Tags: — La Chanelphile @ 7:49 pm

January 25, 2011

Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2011 Inspiration: Paintings of Marie Laurencin

WWD reported that Karl Lagerfeld was inspired by the paintings of Marie Laurencin, namely the portrait she did of Mademoiselle Chanel, for the Spring 2011 Haute Couture collection.  The portrait of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel hangs in the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris and they have an interesting anecdote posted on their site:

In 1923 Laurencin was working on the costumes and sets for Les Biches (The Does) performed by Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Coco Chanel, who was creating costumes for the same company’s Le Train Bleu at the time, asked the artist to paint her portrait. Laurencin painted Chanel in a languid pose draped in blue and black with one shoulder bare. The fluid lines, subtly shifting colours and the sitter’s dreamy expression are typical of Laurencin’s work, but Chanel – designer of ‘the little black dress’ and the Chanel suit – turned the painting down, saying it did not look like her.

Marie Laurencin Portrait of Mademoiselle Chanel, 1923 Oil on canvas

Laurencin was part of the Cubist circle and was one of the few women who were part of the movement but also put her own spin on it. Her use of pastel colors and fluid curvey lines differentiated her from other Cubist painters. She painted mostly women and her style suited this subject perfectly. These are some other examples of Marie Laurencin’s work. You can see her use of pastels and how Karl was inspired by her pinks and greys and transformed these hints of color into an airy, light collection perfect for spring. Review of the collection to come shortly!

Marie Laurencin LA VIE AU CHATEAU Oil on Canvas 1925

Marie Laurencin Il Bacio 1927

Marie Laurencin Femme Au Chien

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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

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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

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April 22, 2009

Chanel Sponsors Tribeca Film Art Awards

Chanel Sponsors Tribeca Film Art Awards

Chanel Sponsors Tribeca Film Art Awards

Gabrielle Chanel is known for supporting the arts.  Her close circle of friends included Stravinsky, Picasso and Diaghilev – some of the most creative and talented minds of the time.  So, it should come as no surprise that the house of Chanel still cultivates the arts.  Last year, Chanel announced the Mobile Art Container by Zaha Hadid.  Unfortunately, the project came to a halt but Chanel’s support of the arts continues.  This year, Chanel is sponsoring the Tribeca Film Art Awards.

Each year, the Tribeca Film Festival asks 10 New York-based artists to create original works – each piece serves as a filmmaker prize, awarded to the Festival’s winning film directors.  During the festival, the original works are on display to the public.  The 10 artists selected are Fritz Chesnut, SunTek Chung, Stephen Hannock, Kalp Linzy, Robert Mangold, Sr., Clofford Ross, David Salle, Tom Slaughter, Hank Willis Thomas, and Mickalene Thomas.

The Art Awards are on display at the Chanel Soho Boutique until April 29th.

Chanel Soho
139 Spring Street

Monday – Saturday
11 AM to 7 PM

12 PM to 6 PM

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December 4, 2008

From Russia With Love: Chanel Métiers D’Art Pre-Fall 2009 Paris-Moscou

Yesterday we told you about the silent film that Karl Lagerfeld directed, in homage to Mlle. Chanel, to introduce the Chanel Métiers D’Art Pre-Fall 2009 collection.  I just found a teaser, and I NEED to find the whole thing! I love it! It totally captures the Chanel spirit, especially since it’s filmed in a way that was “a la mode” of the time period that he’s portraying. Karl is a genius. Check out the teaser below:

And now, the clothing!  Karl always manages to surprise and delight me.  Whenever I think I’ve seen it all, he takes it to a whole other stratosphere.  Last year, for Chanel’s Métiers D’Art Pre-Fall collection Karl took us to London (literally and thematically).  This time, though showing in Paris, Karl was inspired by Russia.  It’s not too far off the mark considering Chanel herself had a romance with a Russian noble, and was friends with Russian creatives including Stravinsky and Diaghilev.  In fact, she designed costumes for one of Diaghilev’s ballets.  She was so inspired by her Slavic circle of friends that she even had a design period heavily influenced by traditional Russian dress, especially, of course, the men’s garment.  But alas, I’m digressing – I’m here to talk about the clothes!

I’ve gone through the collection twice (so far), and each time I rush through it so quickly because I can’t wait to see what’s next and I miss so many details. Every time I go back and look again I find something else that makes my mouth water.  For me, the hair and head-pieces stole the show.  The garments, of course are amazing but the hair, the braids, the feathers, the dangling cascades of pearls and chandelier hair/hats – my goodness! A-maz-ing.  The “fantasy folkloric headdresses [were made] by Japanese wizard Kamo.”  When asked what he had up his sleeve for next year, Karl said: “Shanghai Express — the trip [Chanel] never made.”  Chanel was enamoured with Asian artwork and her apartment is known to have housed many, many Coromandel screens.  I cannot wait to see what next year will bring!

More pictures from the collection, as well as some video footage of the goings-on at the show with still images of the fashion. As soon as the actual show footage is available online we’ll post it up for you! Jeez, I need a fairy god mother to bestow Chanel every season. Oh, fairy god mother, where are you??
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