Karl & Coco

Once upon a time there were two Parisian Legends. Though they lived in different
times, their lives were joined by an address: 31 rue Cambon.
This is the story of a vision conceived by Coco and completed by Karl.

Coco started a small fashion atelier in 1913 ... . . and soon revolutionized
the way women dressed.

After the interruption of World War I , new life came to Paris in the
form of numerous exiled White Russians .

Impressed by their elegance ( in spite of their recently reduced
circumstances), Coco declared:

Alas, it was not to happen until many year later, when Karl had become the
head of the house at 31 rue Cambon .... .. . which we all know as simply -
C H A N E L .
Russia was much changed by then ( 2008 -2009). The extreme opulence of the
days of the last Czar had been reborn on the streets of Moscow. Gone were the
bread lines of the Communists - in were the deep pockets of the Oligarchs.
Karl reached back to the Czarist court costumes : the traditional headdresses
dripping with pearls, the heavy embroidery and enameled jewels.

Photo shoots were scheduled at the Russian Embassy in Paris.

Over 70 years after the seed had been planted .. . .
the House of Chanel debuted
the Paris - Moscow Collection.

Karl took the long awaited bow.

A Footnote to the Fairytale ... .... . . ....
Yes, that would be Karl behind the camera after the show. One might think that
being a legendary fashion icon and bringing the House of Chanel into the
21st Century would quite enough. Not for Karl Lagerfeld.

In his spare time , he is quite the accomplished photographer and
filmmaker. The above black and white stills are taken from The Short Film .. .
a beautifully stylized film, by Karl Lagerfeld, done in the manner of an
old silent film. It sets forth
the history of Coco Chanels' inspiration as "recalled" through his camera.

Do stop by the Chanel website HERE , to see the complete film,
as well as more of these glorious photographs.

All photos from Chanel.com


vicki archer said...

Wonderful post Judith and I am off to watch that film, xv.

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

Beyond fabulous! I am in love with this post. I'm in such a nostalgic mood this weekend and this has made me very happy.

It seems my brand of geeky-ness needs work. I tried to e-mail you after receiving your comment (Yesterday? I've lost track of the days.) and this morning I had a message from qmail that it was not deliverable. We are two peas in a pod. I was sending it to your dot com address. I'll look on your profile page and get back with you if your address is there.

Chrisy said...

Fabulous fabulous post darling...how I wish we could travel back in time for a visit...heading over to check out that Chanel site...

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

love this post!

I can't believe there's an old Coco movie that I don't know about - I'm off to scout it out! I was so disappointed in the Shirley Maclaine version shown this past year.

Ingrid Mida said...

Fabulous post!
I heard a rumour yesterday that Karl was thinking of retiring and that Alber Elbaz would be taking over at Chanel!!!
It seems like Chanel wouldn't be Chanel without Karl....
I took a photo of rue de Cambon in Paris.

Sanity Fair said...

A feast for the eyes - thank you for sharing this!

gina said...

Interesting. Thank you for enlightening me on the history. I don't have any Chanel clothes but I have many,many bottles of perfume. Very addicting.

gina said...

Oops I forgot to mention I have been tagged and I would like for you to partcipate. It will be fun. Please visit my blog

paris parfait said...

I think there couldn't have been anyone better than Lagerfeld to carry on her work and update it for the times.

Paula Scott said...

Oh, my! What a wonderful short film and I can't make up my mind if I like the regular collection better than the cruise collection!

My Castle in Spain said...

i've seen this little jewel of a movie. Lagerfeld really deserves his title of Kaiser or Empereur. Over the years, i'm so amazed by his abilities to constantly renew the Chanel style while maintaining the Coco spirit..
Fabulous post Judith !!!

me melodia said...