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Celebrating The Great Mademoiselle – Coco Chanel – Soon In London

Exactly 132 years ago one of the most stylish woman of the twentieth century was born – Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel. The legendary Coco changed forever the perception of   women all over the world, being the only designer who got to be on the list of “100 most influential people of the XX century,” according to Time Magazine. Every child knows who she is, the crossed letter C logo, along with her quotes and remarks which turned into movies and musicals. 

Today, on her birthday, I want to take the opportunity to remind you how an orphan from the town of Saumur was able to become one of the most influential figures of its time, and why she deserves all the glory. 

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Coco Chanel’s exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London

Gabrielle is 11 when her mother,  Eugénie Jeanne Devolle ( laundrywoman in the charity hospital run by the Sisters of Providence), dies of bronchitis at the age of 31. Her father, Albert Chanel ( street vendor of work clothes and undergarment), sends her to the convent of Aubazine,  where life was frugal and demanding strict discipline. This period puts a huge mark on her work – her collections came out as formless dresses in austere black.

At 18 she goes to work in the theater, where she mets her first patron, Étienne Balsan, a young French ex-cavalry officer, who drove her into a life of luxury and decadence by making her his mistress. She soon leaves him for one of his friends, Captain Arthur Edward ‘Boy’ Capel, a wealthy member of the English upper class. He installs her in an apartment in Paris and finances Chanel’s first shops. Coco is still often accused because she received start-up capital, but do not forget that in the beginning of the twentieth century women entrepreneurs were not usual or normal to meet, and Coco was all for the independence. In 1910 she opens her first store hats, which, frankly, no one was buying, but she just had to wait.

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Coco Chanel’s exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London

After a couple of years, the most fashionable and wealthy women of Paris lines up to Chanel, whose outfits, long before this, all seemed ridiculous: no excessive decoration, simple straight silhouettes, architectural hats, restrained colors, and, above all, the use of jersey and tricot – humble fabrics primarily used for men’s underwear. Coco comes up with the first bag that can be worn on the shoulder – the same 2.55; dresses the whole world into “mourning” with the little black dress, covering the knees; debuts with the first ever synthetic aroma, Chanel №5; she introduces the fashion for short haircuts, cutting off their chic hair; and gives us the same tweed suit which Jacqueline Kennedy loved so much.  Deprived by Arthur Capel (in 1916 Chanel was able to reimburse Capel his original investment—a decision Chanel made on her own, without Capel’s input), who dies in a car accident, she never marries, and that is not welcomed at the beginning of the XX century. She becomes one of the first self-made  woman, which means more than the modern sense of the word. Karl Lagerfeld carries on her legacy for over 30 years, a reputation that is not just about a successful fashion house , but the embodiment of fashion and luxury. 

In her honour London Saatchi Gallery hosts an exhibition seen through Karl Lagerfeld’s eyes, focused on her fashion career – a selection of haute couture pieces, a focus on the perfume that has featured in Vogue the most – Chanel №5 – and a re-edition of the Bijoux de Diamants haute jewelry collection created in 1932 and recently reinterpreted by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel haute couture Fall/Winter 2015-2016. Check it out in London, from October 13 to November 1 2015

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Coco Chanel’s exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London
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Coco Chanel’s exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London
www.astairwaytofashion.com
Coco Chanel’s exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London
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Inside Mademoiselle Chanel’s Apartment

Wouldn’t you want to be able to get a glimpse at the apartment of legendary Gabrielle Chanel? To try to imagine Mademoiselle while walking in her luxurious home, to try to live for a second in an era that was about to change completely thanks to her talent, courage and free spirit?

Photographer and filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson thought you might want to, even though, when she entered the Rue Cambon apartment, didn’t have in mind the exhibition that opens today at London’s Saatchi Gallery, and stays open for public until Saturday October 4, but to complete a series of images for Coco Chanel’s biography .

I went into it thinking, ‘what am I doing – I’m not that interested in photographing inanimate objects‘”, Taylor-Johnson told Vogue UK today during a tour of the exhibit, but then spent days “unearthing things I didn’t think would be there. The light is so perfect there – it was so majestic and magical. Sometimes photographing people is like pulling teeth, trying to get some sort of personality, and (Chanel) wasn’t even there and there was oodles of personality.

The exhibition, entitled Second Floor, has 34 images showing Chanel’s intimate space, and for those lucky ones that can go and visit it, there is also a book, by the same name, that can be purchased.

Rose de Camélia bracelet with pearls and diamonds

Les Perles de Chanel – 25 Pieces from the New Chanel Fine Jewelry Collection

During fashion week, Chanel Jewelry division showed to the world a new collection of jewelry at the sight of which is difficult to resist. Each of the ornaments from Les Perles de Chanel emphasises the beauty and elegance of pearls surrounded by  diamonds, sapphires and amethysts.

The sea pearl  once upon a time won the heart of the great Mademoiselle. We were not fully aware that this was the first spark of passion: the biographers and contemporaries mentioned something about the portraits of the Renaissance, the first of the precious gifts that got young milliner Coco. More importantly, her love for pearls coincided with the accession of another era, “roaring” twenties, fashion aesthetics in which a string of pearls  is the central decoration.

Chanel understood that this gem can be worn day and night, with silk and tweed, diamond and rock crystal. “The image of Mademoiselle Chanel is inseparable from pearls. Wearing them in earrings, chokers, short necklaces or row upon row of long strands, she only took them off to sleep,” explains the brand.

Coco Chanel
Coco Chanel

From the new collection of fine jewelry “Les Perles de Chanel“, here are the 25 most spectacular decorations:

Rose de Camélia bracelet with pearls and diamonds
Rose de Camélia bracelet with pearls and diamonds
Brooch Camélia Perlée
Brooch Camélia Perlée
Bracelet Cascade de Perles, with pearls and diamonds
Bracelet Cascade de Perles, with pearls and diamonds
Necklace of multiple strands of sea pearls with diamonds White Tie, inspired by Chanel 1932 Collections
Necklace of multiple strands of sea pearls with diamonds White Tie, inspired by Chanel 1932 Collections
Aubazine earrings with sea pearls, diamonds and onyx, Mademoiselle subcollections
Aubazine earrings with sea pearls, diamonds and onyx, Mademoiselle subcollections
Ring with sea pearls and diamonds, Mademoiselle subcollections
Ring with sea pearls and diamonds, Mademoiselle subcollections
Perles de Nuit necklace of black pearls with white pearls and diamonds
Perles de Nuit necklace of black pearls with white pearls and diamonds
Necklace of white pearls with diamonds and black pearls
Necklace of white pearls with diamonds and black pearls
Bracelet with colored sea pearls and diamonds Envolée Solaire, Baroque subcollections
Bracelet with colored sea pearls and diamonds Envolée Solaire, Baroque subcollections
Perles Royales necklace of colored pearls and diamonds,
Perles Royales necklace of colored pearls and diamonds
Printemps de Camélia ring with pearls, diamonds and sapphires
Printemps de Camélia ring with pearls, diamonds and sapphires
Printemps de Camélia necklace with pearls, diamonds and sapphires
Printemps de Camélia necklace with pearls, diamonds and sapphires
Camélia Secret bracelet with diamonds and white pearls
Camélia Secret bracelet with diamonds and white pearls
Pluie de Camélia earrings with pearls and diamonds, subcollections Camélia
Pluie de Camélia earrings with pearls and diamonds
Pluie de Camélia necklace with pearls and diamonds
Pluie de Camélia necklace with pearls and diamonds
Comete Perlée earrings with sea pearls and diamonds, subcollections 1932
Comete Perlée earrings with sea pearls and diamonds, subcollections 1932
Comete Perlée necklace with sea pearls and diamonds
Comete Perlée necklace with sea pearls and diamonds
Necklace of colored pearls and diamonds Camélia Nacré
Necklace of colored pearls and diamonds Camélia Nacré
Perles de Couture ring with pearls and diamonds
Perles de Couture ring with pearls and diamonds
Earrings with pearls and diamonds Cascade de Perles, Mademoiselle subcollections
Earrings with pearls and diamonds Cascade de Perles, Mademoiselle subcollections
Necklace of multiple strands of sea pearls with diamonds White Tie
Necklace of multiple strands of sea pearls with diamonds White Tie
Rose de Camélia earrings with pearls and diamonds
Rose de Camélia earrings with pearls and diamonds
Rose de Camélia necklace with pearls and diamonds
Rose de Camélia necklace with pearls and diamonds
Watch of colored pearls and mother of pearl with diamonds Camélia Nacré
Watch of colored pearls and mother of pearl with diamonds Camélia Nacré
Watch Celeste with sea pearls and diamonds
Watch Celeste with sea pearls and diamonds
May Sum's gallery of fashion icons, in lipstick.

May Sum’s Lipstick Art Work

Ever dreamed of having your face immortalized in expensive lipstick? No, well, you can, thanks to Singapore-based artist May Sum, who has made a name for himself by carving expensive lipsticks from top brands in the makeup industry into detailed busts of various celebrities, from Lady Gaga to Audrey Hepburn.

May Sum uses tiny tools to create 3D portraiture of fashion’s most influential figures and sells them on her ‘wahahafactory’ Etsy shop for £280 to £420 each. She uses colour ranging from purple to crimson, pink, nude, brown and orange to create her tiny masterpieces.

May Sum's lipstick art work features famous people like Lady Gaga, seen here in various looks.
May Sum’s lipstick art work features famous people like Lady Gaga, seen here in various looks.

The fine detail signifies tiny and precise tools are used during the carving process. Although the sculptures aren’t exact replicas of the characters depicted, the Chinese artist nails the details that define her muses.

Lady Gaga is instantly recognisable by her round glasses and hair bow, while Coco Chanel sports her signature hat and pearls. She even captures Twiggy’s individual eyelashes and Anna Wintour’s iconic bob.

he Hong Kong artist's figures are mostly modeled on influential women in a series titled Woman Power.
he Hong Kong artist’s figures are mostly modeled on influential women in a series titled Woman Power.

Some women would kill for a lipstick from an established brand but May doesn’t think twice before butchering them into popular fashion icons.

She works with the following brands only: Nars, MAC, Estée Lauder, YSL and Max Factor.

Twiggy, far left, Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, second from left, and Audrey Hepburn star in the series.
Twiggy, far left, Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, second from left, and Audrey Hepburn star in the series.

Her lipstick sculptures are famous in Asia and are now making waves in the UK and America. She carves tailor made sculptures, too, for those hoping to have their face immortalised in expensive lipstick. She also sculpts clothing and pets.

Iconic fashionistas Vivienne Westwood, far left, and Iris Apfel, second from left, feature.
Iconic fashionistas Vivienne Westwood, far left, and Iris Apfel, second from left, feature.

Custom designs are achieved by sending May a high resolution front and side view picture of the object to be sculpted before placing your order. The artwork will then take two weeks to make.

Too thin and too detailed subjects are ‘impossible to sculpt’, according to her Etsy page.

Susie Bubble, Anna Wintour, Kate Moss and Coco Chanel, yours for £396 each.
Susie Bubble, Anna Wintour, Kate Moss and Coco Chanel, yours for £396 each.

She advises customers do not expect perfection from a handmade artwork. Fragile lipstick sculptures must be kept somewhere dry, with good ventilation, within the temperature of 17-25℃. This will not make the lipstick deform or melt. If you put it in the fridge it may split or crack.

Sum doesn't limit herself to iconic women such as Victoria Beckham, far left. She also takes custom orders.
Sum doesn’t limit herself to iconic women such as Victoria Beckham, far left. She also takes custom orders.
Iris Apfel (l) and Vivienne Westwood (r) star again, alongside Madonna (second from left).
Iris Apfel (l) and Vivienne Westwood (r) star again, alongside Madonna (second from left).
May Sum's lipstick art work.
May Sum’s lipstick art work.
May's art is sculpted in about 10-12 hours. For more complicated ones, it could take a week or longer.
May’s art is sculpted in about 10-12 hours. For more complicated ones, it could take a week or longer.
May's work features scenes on bronzer sticks and landscapes as well as famous people on lippies.
May’s work features scenes on bronzer sticks and landscapes as well as famous people on lippies.
It echoes Greek mythology, Renaissance art and Eighties wall carvings.
It echoes Greek mythology, Renaissance art and Eighties wall carvings.
Lady Gaga and Suzie Bubble in lipstick form.
Lady Gaga and Suzie Bubble in lipstick form.
May Sum's lipstick art work.
May Sum’s lipstick art work.
May Sum's lipstick art work.
May Sum’s lipstick art work.
May Sum's lipstick art work.
May Sum’s lipstick art work.
May Sum's lipstick art work.
May Sum’s lipstick art work.

Source dailymail.co.uk

 

Chanel Nuit Infinie de Chanel Holiday Collection

Chanel Nuit Infinie de Chanel Holiday Collection

 

The upcoming event for Chanel house, considering makeup, is the launch of Chanel Nuit Infinie de Chanel Holiday Collection scheduled for the 16th of September in the US and November 2013 worldwide. Most of the products will be limited edition, so take a look and if there is something to put on your “desire list” be ready to act fast in order to have it.

Chanel Nuit Infinie de Chanel Holiday Collection
Chanel Nuit Infinie de Chanel Holiday Collection
Chanel Nuit Infinie de Chanel Holiday Collection
Chanel Nuit Infinie de Chanel Holiday Collection
Chanel Nuit Infinie de Chanel Holiday Collection
Chanel Nuit Infinie de Chanel Holiday Collection
Chanel Nuit Infinie de Chanel Holiday Collection
Chanel Nuit Infinie de Chanel Holiday Collection