Monday, December 26, 2011

Collection: Chanel Pre-Fall 2012

I love Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel.  I don't know how many times I can say it.  But I love him.  He is so damn creative and his shows always blow me away---the themes he picks each season are only matched by the clothes, hair, makeup and music that he sends down the runways that fits them.   We have seen the Byzantine Chanel girl, the Russian Chanel girl and most recently the Mermaid Chanel girl of Spring 2012.  One of the most beautiful collections I can remember comes from Lagerfeld's Pre-Fall 2012 collection recently shown at the Grand Palais in Paris.  With Paris Bombay as a theme, guests were seated at an elaborate banquet set-up where they were served champagne, guava juice, tea, and miniature cakes and sandwiches. An antique silver train with the double-C Chanel logo ran around the table.  

The Paris-Bombay-themed collection, inspired by the jewels, colors, and fabrics of India, was accented by nose rings, deep kohl rimmed eyes and twisted dreadlock updos. Pure luxury and it truly left me speechless.   John Lennon's "Instant Karma!" served as the soundtrack, which to me, again was brilliant and served as Lagerfeld's cheeky addition to the show (we all remember Lennon's fascination with India).  

Fashion in Film: La Règle du Jeu

I am back!  This past month or so has been a crazy time for me between work and travel.  I think I have been on 8 planes, 2 trains, 2 buses, and countless numbers of cars in under 30 days.  But now that I have had a moment to breathe, I am happy to be back.  Expect a number of posts!

A friend of mine has an interesting blog where he talks about the intersection of music and film  (here! click!)  and that has inspired me to want to do more features here on the intersection of fashion and film.  My first piece was back in August where I talked about Isabel Marant's inpiration from the movie Shalako.  I grew up watching and adoring classic movies.  My favorite movie at the age of 4, according to my mom, was Brigadoon.  So, let's go back, way back, shall we?

How many people know that Coco Chanel designed clothes for the stage and film?  Almost 4 years after she introduced the black dress into society, she took on the task of designing costumes for her friend Jean Renoir's 1939 film "La règle du jeu".  How fitting that the woman who introduced the pant suit and more mannish styles at a time when women were vilified for not wearing corsets would design for such a controversial film.

Denigrated by the public, vilified by the critics, re-cut at the insistence of its producers, and finally banned by French government as demoralizing and unpatriotic,  "La règle du jeu"  was a commercial disaster at the time of its original release. On the surface, a series of interlinked romantic intrigues taking place at a weekend shooting party in a country chateau, the film is in fact a study of corruption and decay within French society on the eve of the outbreak of World War II.  Only made available again in its original form in 1956, it has become one of the most noted French films to date.  

Chanel's take on the look of Renoir's characters and the underlying commentary on French society is equally as telling as the undertone in the film.  For example, the chambermaid, Lisette, follows different 'rules' than the other characters and, against convention, is given some of the most extravagant costumes in the film, reversing the idea of what a 'maid' should look like.  Take a look at the stills below, the high neck bowed collars, especially, are distinctly Chanel.  Enjoy!

pics from IMDB

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Give: Indego Africa Trunk Sale

Fashionistas with a heart, take notice.  In the season of giving, what better gift to give than one that looks fabulous, is unique, and goes to a good cause?  In DC tonight you have the opportunity to do just that (and online for you other folks).  Tonight, Indego Africa is holding their first ever trunk show in DC. Indego is a non-profit, fair trade organization that empowers African women to lift their families out of poverty through fair trade partnerships, international export market access and long term skills. One of these mechanisms involves selling gorgeous handmade accessories and home decor items online and in boutiques across the US.  I love the collaborative bangles with Nicole Miller, the friendship piece that would be an excellent arm party piece (trademark by the Man Repeller, shudder), the iPad cover and the wine bags.  All under $25.  Check it out both at their website here  or tonight at the show  
When: Thursday, December 1, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: 1111 11th Street NW; call 412-997-0602 upon arrival.