For a long time, the sun was the celestial body to be avoided. But, defiant and liberated from convention, Gabrielle Chanel decided that bronze would be her colour: one of freedom, leisure, and in a word, life. In Deauville, then in Biarritz and Cannes, the designer opened boutiques, located a few steps from the beachside. In love with the coast and outdoor life, a few years later in 1928 she acquired some land in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin on which she had her villa La Pausa built and where she welcomed her family and artist friends.
Coco Chanel, Misia Sert and Mme Philippe Berthelot on The Beach, Lido Venice.
Gabrielle Chanel had started creating collections calibrated for the dolce vita of beachside resorts, jersey outfits in Deauville from 1912 and fluid knits with supple lines in Biarritz from 1915. Among them the silk blouses with wide collars, inspired by sailors and worn by the designer herself, become a signature of this lifestyle. With its view over the Mediterranean and vast Provencal garden, La Pausa was a home port, a stopover between stays on one of the yachts belonging to the Duke of Westminster and the perfect setting for this casual chic outdoor wardrobe.
Coco Chanel, wearing «beach pyjamas», with Duke Laurino of Rome, in 1930 – a great example how Breton tops and nautical style sailed into our wardrobes.
Today Karl Lagerfeld honours this art of living, so dear to Gabrielle Chanel. The designer gives it a renewed vision, infused with youth and stylish energy. While in every collection there’s been surf and paddleboards, ping pong bats and other summer sport accessories, now COCO BEACH DE CHANEL sees the light of day, a ready-to-wear and accessory collection conceived for the beach and seaside resorts.
Chanel S/S 2018
For S/S 2018, swimming costumes and two-pieces, dresses, playsuits and terrycloth shorts but also outfits in fringed denim or belted striped sailor tops in ecru and burgundy silk make up this sporty line. Buttons are stamped with marine anchors while the iconic quilting is printed on jersey, and red, pink or black denim. Sailor’s bags held with the classic chain interlaced with leather, bowling bags, camera cases and clutches, coloured espadrilles with black toe caps complete this collection of swimwear and beachwear.
Another look from Chanel’s S/S 2018 runway.
Dedicated to life by the sea, this COCO BEACH DE CHANEL collection will only be available in a selection of CHANEL boutiques, naturally located in beachside resorts: Saint-Tropez, Monaco, Cannes and Nice for France, then Barcelona and Capri for Europe. Other holiday resorts drenched in sun all year round like Palm Beach, Santa Fe, Honolulu and Dubai as well as certain spots in Australia, Brazil, Japan, China, Singapore, Korea and Turkey will also receive the collection, available from mid-June through to September.
Chanel’s pop-up boutique in St. Tropez
From that first dive into the ocean at dawn to toes buried in the sand at dusk, this collection encapsulates the sun, life by the beach and the great outdoors. It’s the signature of a lifestyle dedicated to sunlight.
Photos: Courtesy of Chanel