CHANEL Cruise 2022

CHANEL will present its Cruise 2022 collection with a show that will take place on Tuesday, May 4th 2021 at the Carrières de Lumières, located in the village of Les Baux-de-Provence, in the south of France.

A photo I took inside the Carrières de Lumières.

These white limestone quarries were notably used as the backdrop for the 1959 film Le Testament d’Orphée (Testament of Orpheus), directed by Jean Cocteau, who was friends with Gabrielle Chanel. The Cruise collection has been anchored in the history of the House of CHANEL since the early 1920s, when Gabrielle Chanel first offered her clients lightweight and comfortable designs for various sunny destinations including the Riviera and the beaches of the Lido in Venice.

Scenes from Le Testament d’Orphée

Personally speaking, I adore the Carrières de Lumières and have been there many times, especially because it is located just a few minutes from one of my favorite restaurants in the world, L’Oustau de Baumanière, a three Michelin stars restaurant, known for their amazing ingredients from their organic vegetable gardens and produce from local farmers. I always choose the vegetable surprise menu, which is to die for. Hopefully we can enjoy the show in person in May and the lockdown will finally be over…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht
#CHANELCruise

GABRIELLE CHANEL Body Cream

This body cream is so amazing, that it deserves its own post. CHANEL enriches the GABRIELLE CHANEL perfuming ritual with a body cream, the perfect way to treat yourself to a precious moment just for you. Its creamy texture wraps the skin in the luminous floral notes of GABRIELLE CHANEL and intensifies the solar and voluptuous trail of the fragrance. It also works great in combination with any other scent you like to wear…

The cream moisturizes the skin and gently perfumes the body for a truly pampering experience. Delicately pearly, enriched with a moisturizing active ingredient derived from rose and jasmine, it leaves the skin soft, supple and luminous. Whether a moment of pleasure in the morning, a sensual touch after your bath or a gentle caress at the end of the day, each application becomes a ritual of relaxation and delight. The new square frosted glass jar with a shimmering gold lid only adds to its desirability!

GABRIELLE CHANEL Body cream – Jar 150 g – CHF 106.-
Available Mid January 2021.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © CHANEL

CHANEL’s Two-Tone Slingback Shoe

For CHANEL’s Paris – 31 rue Cambon Métiers d’Art 2020 show, models wore iconic shoes with a black toe, an 8cm heel and revisited proportions.

Mademoiselle called them pumps. «They are the final touch of elegance», she used to say. To perfect the silhouette that Gabrielle Chanel introduced to the world, it was necessary to create a shoe that went with any outfit, one that was elegant, could be worn morning to night, and was suited to the new lifestyle of women.

The Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida surrounded by CHANEL House models wearing suits and two-tone shoes (1964, F/W Haute Couture).

In 1957, Mademoiselle Chanel created the two-tone slingback shoe in beige and black. It created a highly graphic effect: the beige lengthened the leg while the black shortened the foot. Whereas shoes had previously been made in a single color that matched the color of one’s clothing, Mademoiselle Chanel once again overturned the codes of fashion by pairing beige and black with all outfits. In her words, «You leave in the morning wearing beige and black, you have lunch in beige and black, and you attend a cocktail party wearing beige and black. You’re dressed for the entire day!» Chanel’s slingback shoe experienced instant success. It varied in style, offering versions with a straighter or thinner heel and a rounded, square or pointed toe.

The beautiful heels for CHANEL’s Paris – 31 rue Cambon Métiers d’Art 2020 show were produced at Massaro.

Mademoiselle Chanel improved its comfort with the help of Massaro (which has remained Chanel’s custom shoe brand to this day) by adding an elastic strap. Located «just steps away from Rue Cambon,» the Massaro workshop continues to create all of the footwear creations for Chanel’s Haute Couture and Métiers d’Art collections. Starting with his very first collection, Karl Lagerfeld had channeled his talent to modernize this model. The two-tone shoe thus lends itself to a myriad of metamorphoses. In just one season, it may be transformed into a ballerina slipper, boot or sandal without losing any of its original spirit. «It’s become the most modern of shoes and makes beautiful legs,» Karl Lagerfeld explained many years ago.

Virginie Viard at CHANEL’s Paris – 31 rue Cambon Métiers d’Art 2020 show finale.

This season, Virginie Viard continued the legacy and created in my eyes one of the It-shoes of the season, comfortable and stylish in one. I love mine and will show you how I wore them on all my recent travels around Europe. They are available now for CHF 900.

LoL, Sandra

CHANEL’s Paris – 31 rue Cambon Métiers d’Art 2020 ad campaign

Photos: © CHANEL© Photo Philippe Garnier / Elle-Scoop
DISCLOSURE: This post is not sponsored. I just love those shoes.

Les Ornements de CHANEL – Holiday 2019

For the Holiday 2019 Collection, Lucia Pica, CHANEL Global Creative Makeup and Color Designer, found inspiration in one of Gabrielle Chanel’s particular — and perhaps unexpected — penchants: her love of ornaments.

After all, while Mademoiselle Chanel famously pioneered a «less is more» approach to elegance, she was equally fascinated by aesthetic opulence: by the deep lacquer of Chinese Coromandel screens, or the shimmering gold leaf that decorated her apartment. Now her paradoxical proclivities are reflected through LES ORNEMENTS DE CHANEL, which showcases festive grandeur for the modern age. Within Lucia Pica’s vision for the collection, a statement smoky eye or a glossy, lustrous lip appears set against a fresh, luminous complexion, and the contemporary contrast between indulgent splendor and refined minimalism is gleefully indulged.

THE LIPS
RICH. LUXURIOUS. MODERN.
«The vivid reds are very rich. I wanted that sense of being bathed in colourLucia Pica

In celebration of the Holiday Collection, the iconic ROUGE ALLURE is revamped through the introduction of six luxurious, luminous shades suspended within graphic, gold-edged limited-edition packaging. For a modern richness, each intensely saturated ROUGE COCO GLOSS can either be worn alone or layered atop lipstick to amplify its impact.

LUCIA’S TIP
A fresh complexion means that you can be bold in your adornment. A deep, glossy lip is made entirely modern when paired with a natural, luminous complexion.

EXCLUSIVE CREATION ROUGE ALLURE – CHF 52.00
Rouge Délicieux: a soft rosebud
Rouge Majestueux: an intense muted raspberry
Rouge Splendide: a pink coral
Rouge Magnifique: a bright orange
Rouge Spectaculaire: a true red
Rouge Noble: a black cherry burgundy

 ROUGE COCO GLOSS – CHF 39.00
Rouge Carmin: a light brick red
Rouge Grenat: a brownish red

THE FACE
LUMINOUS. GLEAMING. RADIANT.
«The highlighter brings light sculpting to the face with a soft shine.» Lucia Pica

A luminous backdrop of angelic skin sets the scene for holiday splendor; an elegant incandescence amplifies the depth of colour to come. A creation exclusive to LES ORNEMENTS DE CHANEL, ÉCLAT MAGNÉTIQUE DE CHANEL offers the perfect starting point for glamorous festivities, its blendable texture melting into the skin to seemingly illuminate from within. Embossed with the likeness of a vintage CHANEL button, its lustrous, pearlescent shine can be used to highlight the contours of the face for a gently sculpting, radiant effect.

LUCIA’S TIP
Using a brush to diffuse the powder, create an iridescent halo of light around the eyes either before or after eyeshadow application for a fresh approach to highlighting.

EXCLUSIVE CREATION
ÉCLAT MAGNÉTIQUE DE CHANEL
Metal Peach: a satiny peach

THE EYES
INDULGENT. OPULENT. SUMPTUOUS.
«The eye palette is sumptuous and rich, yet earthy and realLucia Pica

A harmonious series of sumptuous shades, each eye product encapsulates the spirit of the season with a lustrous effect fit for festive indulgence. Decadent, silken shadows, with a creamy powder texture, exclusively etched with the form of a CHANEL button, LES 4 OMBRES and OMBRE PREMIÈRE can be blended or layered, diffused or defined. Fairer shades can envelop chocolate browns or gunmetal khakis in a «veil of light»: lightly pressing over the center of the lid with a soft peach, or antique gold, will offer a modern dimension to deeper hues. A rich, deeply pigmented khaki pencil, STYLO YEUX WATERPROOF can add elegant definition, or be blended outwards for dramatic effect. Through Lucia’s creations, a world of lavish possibilities awaits.

LUCIA’S TIP
As well as being worn alone, OMBRE PREMIÈRE Grandeur offers the perfect base for other shadows, making their impact even more lush and luxurious, or can be used as a highlighter and swept across small areas around the eyes or cheeks.
EXCLUSIVE CREATION LES 4 OMBRES – CHF 77.00
Lumière et Opulence: a dark gunmetal khaki, soft peach
a bronzy khaki, a chocolate brown
EXCLUSIVE CREATION OMBRE PREMIÈRE – CHF 45.00
Grandeur: a metallic old gold
Poupre Brun: a plum brown
STYLO YEUX WATERPROOF – CHF 35.00
Khaki Intense: a dark gunmetal khaki

THE NAILS
GLOSSY. LACQUERED. PRISTINE.
«I expressed the idea of opulence by creating profound and generous colours. A chestnut red and a black green, as deep as the lacquer of Gabrielle’s CoromandelsLucia Pica

With long-lasting, high-shine shades that reflect the Holiday palette, the dramatic pigmentation of LE VERNIS offers the perfect final touch to the look of the season.

LE VERNIS – CHF 32.00
Deepness: a gunmetal green
Richness: a chestnut red

The limited edition Les Ornements de CHANEL collection will be in stores Mid November 2019.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © CHANEL

The Expression of Gabrielle Chanel

«I decided who I wanted to be, and that is who I am.» Gabrielle Chanel

The bold, independent character of Gabrielle Chanel would determine her fate and change the course of history. In 2017, CHANEL created a fragrance in her honor, a reflection of her extraordinary, determined and passionate spirit: GABRIELLE CHANEL. From the scent to the bottle—both firsts in the history of CHANEL—and the choice of name, it pays tribute to the woman she was before Coco Chanel.

This creation is an expression of Gabrielle in the radiant light of her personality laid bare. It illustrates the liberated woman who revolutionized an era with her visionary take on the world, fashion and beauty. Driven by an inner strength, she was an avant-garde inventor who changed the rules, broke with convention, and made her voice heard. This namesake fragrance is her aura. It personifies the freedom to be unique, to truly be one’s self.

In 2019, GABRIELLE CHANEL Eau de Parfum is reinvented with GABRIELLE CHANEL ESSENCE. Familiar but unlike no other, this new olfactory variation shows a more vibrant and opulent side. Inspired by the very essence of Gabrielle’s radiance, the fragrance shines with intensity, inviting all women reveal their true selves, to follow their instincts by expressing their freedom and speaking their mind. The voluptuous scent works its magic to reveal each individual identity. Solar, it heightens the dazzling charisma of the woman who wears it with warmth and luminosity.

Margot Robbie is the face of the campaign, for the previous post click HERE please.

«With GABRIELLE CHANEL ESSENCE, I wanted to cut to the essentials, to the heart of the fragrance, and reaffirm it with a more voluptuous trail
Olivier Polge, House of CHANEL Perfumer-Creator

This grand floral immediately produces a solar vibration on the skin and makes the woman who wears it shine. Its vibrant heart, stirred by the four white flowers revered by the House, «like a chorus in CHANEL fragrances», radiates throughout the composition. The essence of creaminess, Grasse tuberose plays a majestic role. Elegant and slender, opalescent white, the delicate star-shaped flower prevails as the most fragrant of the plant kingdom. Grown in Grasse exclusively for CHANEL and extracted using a process specific to the House, it is divested of its usual leather, waxy, green and animal facets.

Softened in such a way, it reveals a modern quality, as if smelled in the open field. The enigmatic scent, warm and opulent, is a natural expression of its petals’ velvety texture. The other flowers serve to transcend it: jasmine, the essence of intensity; ylang-ylang from the Comoros, the essence of radiance; and Tunisian orange blossom, the essence of freshness.

A fragrance is like a musical composition…

A matter of balance, the art of creation… To highlight this floral nectar, Olivier Polge, in cooperation with the CHANEL Laboratory of Fragrance Creation and Development, revisited the entire composition. The luminous and airy GABRIELLE CHANEL becomes solar and enveloping with the ESSENCE. He gave the top notes a softer whisper of citrus and added a tangy dash of red berries, and heightened the sensual, voluptuous trail with base notes of sandalwood, vanilla and white musk.

Available from August 31, 2019.

GABRIELLE CHANEL ESSENCE Vaporisateur 50 ml CHF 127.-
GABRIELLE CHANEL ESSENCE Vaporisateur 100 ml CHF 183.-

Furthermore, there will be two amazing additions to the original fragrance GABRIELLE CHANEL offering two new ways of perfuming: a Twist and Spray and a Hair Mist. Two new products to enrich a line that already features a Foaming Shower Gel, a Moisturizing Body Lotion and a Deodorant Spray. A fragrance ritual that prolongs the floral, luminous and solar trail of GABRIELLE CHANEL.

With its new travel-friendly design, GABRIELLE CHANEL Eau de Parfum is easy to slip into your purse and take with you wherever you go. Simple and intuitive to use, GABRIELLE CHANEL Twist and Spray gives you the freedom to wear fragrance at any time of day.


In a travel-friendly format you can slip into your purse, GABRIELLE CHANEL Hair Mist offers a new approach to perfuming. Spray directly on your hair or brush to scent your locks with the sunny, floral notes of the fragrance. Its new formula makes hair look smoother, softer and shinier, while intensifying the trail of GABRIELLE CHANEL.

Both also available from August 31, 2019.

GABRIELLE CHANEL Eau de Parfum Twist & Spray 3×20 ml CHF 151.-
GABRIELLE CHANEL Parfum Cheveux 40 ml CHF 70.-

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © CHANEL, #GABRIELLECHANEL #CHANELFRAGRANCE

Gabrielle Chanel Ballet at Bolshoi Theater

A must for every fashion and ballet lover. This upcoming Saturday and Sunday will see the performance of Svetlana Zakharova’s program MODANSE of two one-act ballets: «Come Un Respiro» (Like Breath) and the premiere of «Gabrielle Chanel» at the Bolshoi Theatre on the famous historic stage in Moscow.

Inside the famous Bolshoi Theater.

The latter is the creative work of the congenial trio of Yuri Posokhov (choreography), Ilya Demutsky (composition) and Alexey Frandetti (director and writer) who created an homage to the life and work of Coco Chanel, her role as a revolutionist in the industry and her rise to become the queen of fashion. The main role of the late designer was created especially for the prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theater and the Milan Scala, Svetlana Zakharova by the production company MuzArts and is tailor-made for her. Among the dancers are Denis Savin, Jacopo Tissi, Mikhail Lobukhin, Vyacheslav Lopatin, and Ana Turazashvili.

Hotel Metropol Moscow, seen from the Bolshoi Theater.

If you want to visit the ballet in Moscow, I recommend staying at the Metropol Hotel that is located on the opposite side of Teatralnaya Ploshchad (Theatre Square) from the main building of the Bolshoi Theatre. Following the traditions of the founder of the hotel, the patron of art Savva Mamontov, the Metropol Hotel Moscow supports another world premiere of the MODANSE series and hotel guests have the unique opportunity to buy tickets for the best seats.

Inside the newly renovated Metropol Hotel Moscow.

Reading the last autobiography of Coco Chanel, I got to know that she was a true philanthropist by providing significant financial support to the Diaghilev ballet. Like this, she truly showed her admiration for talent and art.

Coco Chanel with Ballets Russes dancer Serge Lifar.

The new ballet about Coco Chanel will be performed not only at the Bolshoi Theatre, but also in Paris, the city that cherishes the memory of the legendary Frenchwoman.

Two dancers of the Ballets Russes in costumes by Coco Chanel, from 1928. 

While you are reading this, I am on my way to London to see «The Mother», a powerful narrative dance production based on Hans Christian Andersen‘s dark tale, choreographed by Arthur Pita and starring Natalia Osipova, the famous Russian ballerina, who is currently performing as a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet in London. So excited…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Hotel Metropol, Bolshoi, CHANEL and Sasha/V&A Images

Les Eaux de CHANEL Paris – Riviera

«PARIS-RIVIERA is a floral and luminous fragrance that reflects the joyful, sunny spirit of the Côte d’Azur in the 1920s.» – Olivier Polge

Launched in 2018, the LES EAUX DE CHANEL collection opened a whole new realm of olfactory sensations in the world of CHANEL fragrances : one of freshness and elegance in any situation. Woven with Sicilian and Calabrian citrus, these eaux de toilette invite you to travel, to escape without reason and sail away. With LES EAUX DE CHANEL, there is no need to go anywhere to savor the scent of faraway places on the skin.

Inspired by destinations dear to Gabrielle Chanel, and created by Olivier Polge in cooperation with the CHANEL Laboratory of Fragrance Creation and Development, LES EAUX DE CHANEL are adds a new destination: PARIS-RIVIERA. Rare and exclusive, the new motionless escape will be available for one year starting June 1, 2019.

Gabrielle Coco Chanel and Misia Sert

The mere mention of its name conjures up images of a coastline winding its way between the Alps and the Mediterranean. Bringing the promise of azure blue and dancing sunlight, the Riviera evokes an enveloping softness and the lazy days of summer. From the far south bordering Italy and Monte Carlo to the Var, artists and creators from around the world were drawn to this Mediterranean coast as early as the 1920s. Thanks to her friend Misia Sert who introduced her to Venice, the gateway to the Orient, Gabrielle Chanel began sojourning on the Riviera in 1920.

Gabrielle Chanel and Count Sala at the Hôtel de Paris in Monaco.

She loved driving to Monaco with the Grand Duke Dimitri or travelling south on the Train Bleu, a means of transport made famous by Serge de Diaghilev who wrote a ballet by the same name and entrusted the costume design to Mademoiselle Chanel. She could often be found on the Côte d’Azur during the Roaring Twenties, one day on the Duke of Westminster’s yacht in Monte Carlo, another at her regular haunt, the Hôtel de Paris in Monaco, or at the Société des Bains de Mer resort
known for its legendary parties. Gabrielle Chanel also frequented Cannes, where she opened a boutique, and joined the painters and writers who flocked to Saint-Tropez, which was but a fishing port at the time.

Gabrielle Chanel at her villa «La Pausa»

But a little to the East, on the heights of Roquebrune, is where she chose to point her compass and have her villa «La Pausa» built. Mademoiselle oversaw every last architectural detail, and had olive groves and fields of lavender planted. She made it her permanent vacation home, where she entertained a number of celebrities such as Jean Cocteau and Salvador Dalí. There in her beloved southern France, Gabrielle Chanel wove a tapestry of moments suspended in time and joyful memories.

Her bathroom inside «La Pausa»

The fantasy-filled world of the Riviera inspired perfumer-creator Olivier Polge to compose a luminous and elegant fragrance. «The dream Côte d’Azur of the 1920s is what guided the development of this new fragrance,» explains Olivier Polge. «A sun-filled Eden that was a magnet
for artists. The flawless architecture of the villas in those days. The
bright and happy atmosphere of party nights…»

The perfumer noticed a remarkable lightheartedness in the pictures of Gabrielle Chanel surrounded by friends, her face upturned to the sun, and incarnated it with a fragrance of Mediterranean flowers bathed in fresh citrus. He teamed jasmine with a unique quality of neroli from the orange
blossoms found in the South of France. «For years, we have worked with a cooperative in Vallauris that distills orange blossoms grown in the region’s private gardens», recounts Olivier Polge. «The owners of bitter orange groves bring the petals picked from their trees to this cooperative to be processed on location. The local climate yields an extremely pure essence.»

Les Eaux de CHANEL collection: Paris-Deauville, Paris-Venise and Paris-Biarritz

The airy signature scent of the LES EAUX DE CHANEL collection is instantly recognizable on the skin: a refreshing veil of orange peel and petit grain. Then emerges the pairing of jasmine and neroli with enveloping fullness. Over time, an irresistible softness fuses with the floral impression : it is the work of benzoin balm and sandalwood. The PARIS-RIVIERA eau de toilette creates a snapshot of summer with a single spray. A promise of azure blue and sun on the skin. A one-way trip to a legendary Mediterranean coast.

Available in limited edition from June 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020 at CHANEL stores and on chanel.com. Paris-Riviera Eau de Toilette Vaporisateur 125 ml for CHF 155.00.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © CHANEL, © Monte-Carlo SBM archives

My Look: La Pausa

It feels like spring at the moment, happy moments with lots of sunshine that are only shadowed by the passing of my beloved Karl Lagerfeld. These photos were taken yesterday before I heard the news which is quite bizarre as he must have died while we took them. Wearing vintage pieces and his last Cruise 2019 collection with the name «La Pausa», that derives from Gabrielle Chanel‘s villa at the Côte d’Azur in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, I say once more farewell to one of the greatest designers in the world. Being German, I am proud to emphasize that a dear landsman went to Paris to leave such a mark on the world of fashion.

My look: «La Pausa» cashmere sweater, high waisted denim skirt (S/S 2016), cotton tweed white and black beret, metal and strass life buoy broochvintage striped logo 2way bagicon, all by CHANEL, and red leather Rockstud boots by Valentino.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Les Exclusifs de CHANEL 1957

LES EXCLUSIFS DE CHANEL

Is it a year? An address? Two numbers combined? 1957 is all those things as well as the link between CHANEL and the United States.
A continent enamored with Gabrielle Chanel, captivated by her creations since her debut in 1912 and then by the personality of a free and independent woman who owed her success to no one other than herself. The fascination was mutual: Mademoiselle Chanel was drawn to America by her family’s past and dreams of her beloved father who set sail for the New World. Her desire to also live this dream and achieve lasting fame became a reality: «I admire and love America,» she confided to Paul Morand, «it’s where I made my fortune» (1). And it is also where she was hailed as the most influential designer of the 20th century in 1957.

Taking in Texas: Chanel and Marcus during the Marcus Western party outside Dallas on September 7th 1957 (this trip inspired Lagerfeld later for the Paris – Dallas Metiers d’Art show).

I ADMIRE AND LOVE AMERICA

The love story between CHANEL and America began with fashion. The young milliner’s hats were distributed in New York department stores, and the press raved about her avant-garde style: Women’s Wear Daily predicted a great future for the famous sweaters created in Deauville from the moment they appeared in 1914 (2) and CHANEL designs flourished in the pages of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair each season.

Coco Chanel for N°5, its first campaign as featured in Harper’s Bazaar in 1937.

And then there was fragrance, of course. France discovered the fragrance N°5 in 1921, and the Americans fell in love with it three years later in 1924, the same year the first makeup collection was launched. «Americans buy all things luxurious, and the greatest luxury is fragrance»: Gabrielle Chanel’s intuition was once again right.
In 1928, Vogue US slipped into the beauty salon of the Jay Thorpe department store and met the hostess trained in Paris by CHANEL, who, in addition to performing treatments with CHANEL skincare products, also guided women in their choice of fragrance, «one of the most difficult things in the world when you have tried three or four» (3).
In 1934, advertising campaigns for fragrances in American magazines began introducing Americans to new scents, unprecedented in their conception – N°5 was the first luxury fragrance to use aldehydes – and revolutionary by their rich and floral olfactory composition.

Illustrator unknown, via Vogue, October 1926

The name CHANEL was on all lips, and its style worn by all women. The iconic little black dress was celebrated by Vogue US in October 1926. By referring to the Chanel design as the «Ford dress», in reference to the Ford T automobile which had been a best-seller since 1908, the magazine ushered the little black dress into fashion history. On Broadway, actresses Katharine Cornell and Gertrude Lawrence took to the stage dressed in CHANEL. Hollywood also clamored for Gabrielle Chanel, who travelled to Los Angeles at the request of Samuel Goldwyn in 1931 to dress the actresses of MGM Studies, including Gloria Swanson, who became one of her friends.

Coco Chanel during a working visit to Los Angeles, in 1931.
Photo: © 1931 Los Angeles Times; Digital Colorization by Lee Ruelle / via Vanity Fair.

Delighted to finally discover the United States, the creator first stopped in New York with Misia Sert, where she was welcomed with great pomp. And, on their way back from California, the two friends visited Chicago and San Francisco before returning to New York. The trip lasted one month, and the American press took advantage of the opportunity to try to uncover the secrets of Gabrielle Chanel, the unstoppable businesswoman ahead of her time. From the New York Times to the New York Herald Tribune, not to mention The New Yorker, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, Coco was everywhere and gave countless interviews from her suite at the Pierre Hotel. Each one of her outfits was observed in detail, her pearl necklaces and style drawing much admiration. From then on, in America, CHANEL incarnated French elegance and was synonymous with the fashion to be followed at all costs. At the end of her trip, an article in the June 1931 issue of Vanity Fair praised the designer in their “«We nominate for the Hall of Fame» feature: «Gabrielle Chanel was the first to apply the principles of modernism to dressmaking; because she numbers among her friends the most famous men of France; because she combines a shrewd business sense with enormous personal prodigality and a genuine enthusiasm for arts; and finally because she came to America to make a laudable attempt to introduce chic to Hollywood». The 1939 New York World Fair only confirmed the infatuation: the CHANEL showcases, in crystal and with sculpted heads, presenting objects and accessories that evoked the personality of Mademoiselle Chanel, were among the most admired by 44 million visitors.

CHANEL at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for the New York World’s Fair. (1939)

Although she travelled to the United States with her friends or photographers like Horst P. Horst, Gabrielle Chanel made her big comeback in 1957. Three years earlier, Mademoiselle Chanel had returned to the world of fashion with a collection that ran totally counter to the style of the time. While Paris gave her the cold shoulder, America heaped her with even more praise. Life magazine gave her an ovation: «At 71, Gabrielle Chanel is creating more than fashion: a revolution» (4). Truman Capote himself referred to her as a «fashion visionary». But how could the land where anything was possible forget when in 1952 Marilyn Monroe made N°5 immortal by declaring she wore nothing but a few drops of the fragrance to bed?

Marilyn Monroe and her Chanel N°5 in 1952

THE MOST INFLUENTIAL DESIGNER OF THE 20TH CENTURY

And so 1957. That year, Stanley Marcus organized the first Neiman Marcus Fortnight in Dallas to celebrate the department store’s fiftieth anniversary. Three hundred fashion designers were invited, but only one was welcomed like a star: after arriving by the first foreign aircraft ever to land at the Dallas Love Field airport, Gabrielle Chanel climbed into the only white Rolls Royce in the procession, exclusively reserved for her. Her destination ? The podium on which she was to receive the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion, thereby declaring her the most influential designer of the 20th century. At her side was Suzy Parker, the first true top model in fashion history. In 1959, the beautiful American star became the face of N°5 featured in a campaign by Richard Avedon, followed by actresses Candice Bergen and Ali McGraw, in 1965 and 1966.

Coco Chanel and Suzy Parker, 1962

The love affair between CHANEL and America grew even stronger through the art world: in 1959, the New York Museum of Modern Art exhibited the packaging of the fragrance bottle as an example of minimalist elegance, which was later reinterpreted by Andy Warhol. The Broadway musical Coco paid tribute to Gabrielle Chanel in 1969 with a run of 300 performances starring Katharine Hepburn in the role of the designer.

«Coco» was Katherine Hepburn’s only musical on Broadway (1969).

A unique, bold and passionate rebel at heart who let nothing stand in her way, an independent, hardworking woman driven by an innate desire for success, Gabrielle Chanel became America’s adopted daughter. A daughter to whom the country paid homage on January 10, 1971: having followed and championed her from the start, the New York Times devoted three front-page columns to her «incalculable» influence on fashion and its evolution (5). Still today, history has proven her right.

The pearl sculpture, designed by Jean-Michel Othoniel, extends down a central staircase within the newly opened CHANEL store on 57th street in New York City. 

A SKIN SCENT

Alongside the reopening of the New York boutique on 57th street, CHANEL is celebrating 1957 with a new eau de parfum in the LES EXCLUSIFS DE CHANEL collection. 1957: the year of Gabrielle Chanel’s consecration in America, but also 19, like the day of her birth, and 57, like the street number of the biggest CHANEL store in the United States. A creation that builds an olfactory bridge between France and America, joined by that iconic style. A timeless style, the CHANEL style.

«Her special style is compounded from three ingredients: girlishness, comfort, and a generous helping of pearls. In a country where emphasis is on youth and free and easy living, her designs were bound to succeed». With this definition of the CHANEL allure, the New York Times said it all (6). A modern, avant-garde style that gave women freedom to move. An eternally young and modern allure that broke with the codes of the time and shifted the conventions of chic. An art of living with a simplicity that hides a painstakingly crafted complexity, steeped with a luxury that has no need to flaunt or justify itself.

The third LES EXCLUSIFS DE CHANEL creation composed by perfumer-creator Olivier Polge, in cooperation with the CHANEL Laboratory of Fragrance Creation and Development, 1957 illustrates the mystery of the deceptively simple CHANEL style. A balance of creamy softness, enveloping comfort, and light perfused with discreet power. A fragrance one adopts like a clean skin scent that becomes unique and deeply personal on each wearer. «For each fragrance in the LES EXCLUSIFS DE CHANEL collection, we explore a path we have never taken», explains Olivier Polge. «This time, I opted to work with musk, more specifically white musks. Their whiteness hides a great complexity: enveloping, they emit a more or less pronounced light, and vary in their soft and sensual effects. 1957 is a skin scent that, more than others, is revealed fully on the unique chemistry of each person’s skin».

A BALANCE OF CREAMY SOFTNESS, ENVELOPING COMFORT, AND LIGHT PERFUSED WITH DISCREET POWER

An assembly of eight white musks, 1957 is structured like a layered composition of transparent, translucent and opaque veils. An immaculate superposition, comfortable and enveloping, soft, almost cushion-like. One can imagine one of Gabrielle Chanel’s beloved pearls, its delicate contours rendered imperceptible by the changing reflections: the matte whiteness of certain musks blends into the iridescent pearl of others. In this interplay of depths, woody, honeyed, spicy and floral vibrations create a luminous, powerful and sensual prominence. Vanilla and honey notes thus slip into the white musks, some with a hint of cedar, others with pink pepper, coriander seed or orange blossom. The faux simplicity of whiteness is revealed and magnified… The precision of an expertly crafted and yet abstract trail, free to enhance the skin by diffusing a distinctive and singular scent.

Coco Chanel presenting her collection in 1957, the year of her comeback.

«1957 also conjures up a certain idea of America», according to Olivier Polge. «An idea that the country has of fragrance and particularly with respect to CHANEL and N°5, which has become a model of olfactory inspiration, even for hairsprays and soaps. But also a concept that the United States introduced: what is referred to as a «sent-bon», (7) a word that speaks to me especially because it was so dear to Gabrielle Chanel. 1957 is a link: it reinterprets American perfumery with the idea the USA has had about French fragrance since N°5 paved the way». The essence of CHANEL is reunited in its trail, filled with comfort and natural elegance, a presence within a chic, refined, personal and unforgettable discretion.

1957 Eau de Parfum Vaporisateur 75 ml CHF 230.-
1957 Eau de Parfum Vaporisateur 200 ml CHF 410.-

LoL, Sandra

Photos if not stated otherwise: © CHANEL

(1) Paul Morand, The Allure of Chanel, ed. Hermann, 1996, p.183.
(2) WWD, July 27, 1914.
(3) Vogue US, September 29, 1928.
(4) Justine Picardie, CHANEL sa vie, Steidl, 2010, p.330.
(5) The New York Times, January 11, 1971.
(6) Linda Simon, Coco Chanel, Reaktion books, Critical Lives collection, London, 2011 p.157.
(7) A pleasant smell.

This Season CHANEL N°5 Dresses in Red

This week, I seem to have a red thread as I realized that I posted so many things in this festive hue. Today is no different as I would like to show you the world’s most eternal fragrance in Gabrielle Chanel’s favorite colour. For the first time ever and for a limited time only, N°5 dresses in red.

N°5 EAU DE PARFUM
An abstract floral bouquet composed around may rose and jasmine, brightened with citrusy top notes.  Aldehydes create a unique presence, while the smooth touch of bourbon vanilla leaves an incredibly sensual trail.

N°5 L’EAU
Fresh and sophisticated, complex yet easy to wear, N°5 L’EAU offers a new definition of femininity.

The unique limited editions are available as N°5 L’EAU Eau de Toilette and N°5 Eau de Parfum (both as 100 ml for CHF 202) in mass-dyed red glass and as 55 numbered red Baccarat crystal bottles for a collector’s edition of the N°5 Parfum (900 ml, price on demand).

Personally speaking, I am a big fan of this classic. This limited edition bottle makes a great gift for every CHANEL-loving fashionista  and it is already under my Christmas tree. If you get a chance, try the body products as well. They have an amazing quality and the scent is true to the EdP and very long-lasting.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of CHANEL and © Sandra Bauknecht