Tag Archives: Chanel

French haute couture dresses: Schiaparelli inducted to fashion’s elite list with Chanel

Tiffany & Co. Masterpieces 2016 Prism pendant necklace in platinum with 
tsavorite garnets and diamonds

13 Birthstones: Benefits of precious gems and where to find them

Add text.

January
Chanel Fine Jewellery Les Éternelles de Chanel Signature Garnet secret watch in white gold with a 39.9-carat cushion-cut red garnet, yellow sapphires, orange sapphires, spessartite garnets, and diamonds.

Chanel Fine Jewellery Les Éternelles de Chanel Signature Garnet secret watch in white gold with a 39.9-carat cushion-cut red garnet, yellow sapphires, orange sapphires, spessartite garnets, and diamonds. It is a unique piece equipped with a quartz movement

Garnet

Signifying eternal friendship and trust, the name garnet is derived from the Latin word “granatum”, which refers to the red seeds of the pomegranate. Apart from the red varieties, which were among the most ancient of healing talismans, garnet also comes in other colour types, the key ones being the orange-yellow spessartite and the bright green tsavorite.

February
Bvlgari Magnificent Inspirations Extravaganza necklace

Bvlgari Magnificent Inspirations Extravaganza necklace in pink gold with 12 sassi-cut amethysts totalling 344.25 carats, South Sea cultured pearls, emeralds, 
amethysts, spinels, and diamonds

Amethyst

Historically coveted by European royalty by virtue of its intoxicating purple and rarity then, the ever-popular amethyst was also used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to keep the wearer sober, sharp, and restraint. In fact, its name derives from the Greek word “amethystos”, which means “not drunken”.

March
Tiffany & Co. Blue Book collection Water Colours three-strand necklace

Tiffany & Co. Blue Book collection Water Colours three-strand necklace in platinum with 
a 52.80-carat cushion-cut aquamarine, tanzanites, green tourmalines, aquamarines, 
and diamonds

Aquamarine

Named for the Latin phrase “water of the sea”, the ethereal aquamarine was believed by the ancients to be the treasure of the mermaids, and by sailors as a talisman for protection and safe passage over water. The gem was also used to dispel gossip, and imbue the owner with a sense of
calm and confidence.

April
Cartier Magicien Illumination bracelet in white gold with one 31.16-carat D-colour, internally flawless emerald-cut diamond

Cartier Magicien Illumination bracelet in white gold with one 31.16-carat D-colour, internally flawless emerald-cut diamond, other diamonds in various cuts, and carved rock crystal.
The main diamond can be worn on a ring or replaced by a pavé diamond motif

Diamond

Adopted from the Greek work “adamas”, meaning “invincible”, diamond is symbolic of eternal love and strength today. The gem was referenced in Sanskrit texts as early as 400BC, and since antiquity, believed by various cultures to possess powers that range from therapy and healing, energy-boosting, to imparting balance and clarity of thought.

May
Van Cleef & Arpels Émeraude en Majesté Grand Opus transformable necklace

Van Cleef & Arpels Émeraude en Majesté Grand Opus transformable necklace in white gold with three old-mine Colombian emeralds (two are shown here) totalling 127.88 carats, diamonds, and white cultured pearls

Emerald

Emerald was a holy gemstone for many early civilisations, including the Egyptians and South Americans, and also revered by ancient royalty spanning the Greeks to Indians. A symbol of renewal and growth, the gem is believed to grant the owner youth, vision, and wisdom. Its name was derived from the Greek word “smaragdus”, for green.

June
Chaumet La Nature de Chaumet Le Chêne Racines Célestes transformable necklace

Chaumet La Nature de Chaumet Le Chêne Racines Célestes transformable necklace in white gold with an oval-cut pink spinel, cultured freshwater pearls, spinels, pink sapphires, and diamonds. This is the short version of the original long necklace that has a total of seven pink and violet spinels weighing 10.94, 8.40, 6.81, 6.80, 6.53, 5.29, and 1.87 carats

Pearl

Probably the first gem discovered by mankind to be used for adornment, pearl boasts a long and interesting legacy of mythical importance in countless civilisations, including the Romans and Tudors. Its natural form, colour, and radiance endowed it with a celestial quality, and it has become symbolic of innocence, purity, and virtue in modern history.

July
Chopard Red Carpet collection High Jewellery Necklace

Chopard Red Carpet collection High Jewellery Necklace with 33 cushion-shaped rubies 
totalling 64.12 carats, diamonds, and rubies of various cuts

Ruby

Symbolising passion, vitality, and wealth, the blood-red ruby was so fascinating and visceral in appeal to historical nobility, from Kublai Khan to the Indian maharajahs, that their obsession with it was the stuff of legends. Named from the Latin word “ruber” for “red”, the legendary gem is one of the oldest associated with royalty, and remains sought-after to this day.

August
Chanel Fine Jewellery Les Blés de Chanel Brins de Printemps earrings

Chanel Fine Jewellery Les Blés de Chanel Brins de Printemps earrings in white gold with 
two marquise-cut peridots totalling 10.4 carats, other peridots, green tourmalines, aquamarines, and diamonds

Peridot

Called chrysolite in early writings, peridot was believed to wield powers against nightmares and the dark forces, and bring the wearer influence and success. Named from the Arabic word “faridat” for “gem”, it is the national gemstone of Egypt as it was first discovered nearly 4,000 years ago on an Egypt-owned island in the Red Sea, where stones were mined for the kings.

September
Cartier Magicien Incantation necklace

Cartier Magicien Incantation necklace in platinum with one 22.84-carat cushion-cut
Sri Lankan blue sapphire and diamonds. The necklace can be worn inverted along 
its radius and the sapphire may be fitted onto a ring

Sapphire

The sky blue colour of sapphire endowed it with a divine quality, and naturally, it became a royal gem for many cultures tracing back to the Middle Ages. Since then, it has been associated with numerous virtues that range from devotion and loyalty, to wisdom, justice, and prophecy. Its name has roots in Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit, meaning “blue stone”.

October
Louis Vuitton Blossom High Jewellery ring in white gold with a 2.9-carat indicolite tourmaline set onto a 5.05-carat petal-shaped opal along with diamonds

Louis Vuitton Blossom High Jewellery ring in white gold with a 2.9-carat indicolite tourmaline set onto a 5.05-carat petal-shaped opal along with diamonds

Opal

Referring to its play-of-colour property, opal’s name was derived from the Greek word “opallos”, which means “to see a change of colour”. Its stunning visual quality led it to become a talisman for strengthening both one’s eyesight and higher consciousness.

October
Boucheron 26 Vendôme Passementerie necklace in pink and white gold with one 2.02-carat oval cabochon pink tourmaline, five rubellites totalling 35.53 carats, spessartite garnets, multi-cut pink tourmalines, multi-colour sapphires, diamonds, and a rock crystal

Boucheron 26 Vendôme Passementerie necklace in pink and white gold with one 2.02-carat oval cabochon pink tourmaline, five rubellites totalling 35.53 carats, spessartite garnets, multi-cut pink tourmalines, multi-colour sapphires, diamonds, and a rock crystal

Tourmaline

Also a birthstone for October, tourmaline is historically associated with matters of the heart, and stands for humanitarian love and positivity. The gem’s name, born of the old Sinhalese word “turmali” for “mixed colours”, reflects its many attractive colour varieties.

November
Chanel Fine Jewellery Sous le Signe du Lion Solaire brooch in white gold with with a 123.5-carat carved yellow citrine, a 7.8-carat cushion-cut orange topaz, 
diamonds, and yellow sapphires

Chanel Fine Jewellery Sous le Signe du Lion Solaire brooch in white gold with
with a 123.5-carat carved yellow citrine, a 7.8-carat cushion-cut orange topaz, 
diamonds, and yellow sapphires

Topaz & Citrine

A gemstone with many colour varieties, topaz was prized in antiquity, with the opulent orangey-pink stone hailed as the imperial topaz by the Russian tsars. It is supposed to possess a warm and gentle solar energy, and helps to soothe, stimulate, and recharge the owner. Because the yellow-orange topaz was historically thought to be the same as citrine, the latter has also come to be known as November’s birthstone too. Regarded as the “healing quartz”, it is believed to have a healthful, encouraging influence.

December
Bulgari Magnificent Inspirations Fiore ingenuo High Jewellery necklace in white gold 
with carved turquoise inserts, one 9.39-carat trillion-cut tanzanite, diamonds, 
moonstones, and blue sapphires

Bulgari Magnificent Inspirations Fiore ingenuo High Jewellery necklace in white gold 
with carved turquoise inserts, one 9.39-carat trillion-cut tanzanite, diamonds, 
moonstones, and blue sapphires

Turquoise

Another gem that pre-dates written history is turquoise, which was revered as an ornamental and ceremonial stone, especially in ancient Persian, Egyptian, and American civilisations. Its name came from the French expression “pierre tourques”, meaning “Turkish stone”, as it was first traded from Persia through Turkey to Europe in the 17th century.

Text by Yanni Tan

This article was first published in WOW.

Chanel Métiers d'Art runway show

Chanel’s Metiers d’Art show 2016 stars Cara Delevingne and Pharrell Williams

For 13 years Salzbourg, Rome, Dallas and Edinburg, have served as the enviable locations to celebrate Chanel’s annual Metiers d’Art show. This year, the label picked Paris, a fashion capital and home to the brand’s founder.

Last Tuesday, the Ritz Paris was transformed into an extravagant theatre from the 1930s, that was the stage of Chanel’s annual show. The French label indeed decided to pay homage to its founder Coco Chanel – in a joyful, festive way. Why that specific venue? “The Ritz is very Paris, but men and women from all over the world come here, so it is a temple of cosmopolitan elegance,” declared Karl Lagerfeld. But there is more to the story.

Coco Chanel herself has lived a large part of her life in one of the majestic hotel’s suites – bringing in an air of scandal, when she was sharing her bet with a German intelligence Officer, during WWII.

Chanel Métiers d'Art runway show

Focusing on a lighter, more insouciant part of Coco Chanel’s life, Karl Lagerfeld revived the 1930s glamour to perfection. As a perfect tribute to Chanel’s style and spirit, Pillbox hats with netted veils, long woolly jumpers and glittery tweed suits reigned on the catwalk — mixing aristocracy and glamour in the finest way. Contrasting with the usual austere runway faces, Chanel’s models were facetious and smiling.

Chanel invited some of its most famous models, including Lily-rose and Cara Delevingne on the runway — Both of whom embraced the glorious Chanel spirit.

Chanel Métiers d'Art runway show

Pharrell Williams at Chanel’s Métiers d’Art runway show

Pharrell Williams also took the catwalk, wearing a navy tweed jacket and strings of pearls. Levi Dylan, grandson of a recent surprise Nobel laureate and up-and-coming model Sofia Richie were also part of the stunning cast. With all the plumes and camellias adorning the heads, The Ritz Paris, looked like a flashback from the 1930s in all its decadent glory. 

Chanel J12 watch Baselworld

Chanel J12 XS: Tough Chick

The first watch designed by Chanel with a masculine touch goes through a complete makeover and is now smaller, girlier and the most desirable it has ever been. This story is from the perspective of our friends at L’Officiel Singapore; we have previously adopted the WOW Singapore review of the same watch.

The year 2003 was no ordinary one for Chanel. It finally made its debut at BaselWorld (the industry’s biggest watch fair where top manufacturers gather annually in Switzerland to show off their latest horological feats), 16 years after the Parisian house unveiled its first timepiece, the Première. But the year was also a dismal one for the people of the world who were fiercely battling the Sars epidemic. “In fact, China realized that it had many more cases than what was officially announced,” Chanel’s International Watch Director Nicolas Beau recalls. “It was two days before the show and a lot of Chinese would be coming in. Everybody panicked. Some even wanted to go home.”

Chanel J12 watch Baselworld

Black high-tech ceramic and 18k white gold with baguette-cut diamonds, black onyw, matte leather and patent calfskin

But when BaselWorld concluded that year, people weren’t talking about Sars as much as Chanel’s J12, which was presented at the fair in a new white high-tech ceramic version (trumping the reception of its black predecessor launched back in 2000). “Suddenly we realized how powerful this creation was,” Beau adds. “The J12 introduced a new color and a new spirit to quite a traditional-looking watch. And because it’s a traditional-looking watch, it would be boring if we made it in steel. Ours in ceramic told people something different.”

The J12, which was Chanel’s first automatic timepiece, is a fascinating work of art. Seven years of research and development contribute to the allure of the watch, most of which lies within its high-tech ceramic case. Made entirely from scratch at the brand’s G&F Chatelain Manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the material is lighter and hardier than gold and steel, resistant to thermal and chemical shocks, and very comfortable to wear, absorbing and maintaining the skin’s temperature when worn. “We have discovered many new things since we started making ceramics in 2000,” Beau reveals. “We can even incorporate the material into mechanical movements now.”

That isn’t the only novelty. The J12 was also the first timepiece which Chanel designed with a surprising yet compellingly masculine approach. The house’s late artistic director Jacques Helleu had these goals in mind for the watch: it had to look timeless, be indestructible and remind him of “masterpieces in the world of automobiles”. As Beau points out: “We created a strong full-black watch with the original J12 and then followed up with an even stronger J12 in white. Today, both have become very key colors in the watch market.”

In October, Chanel gave the J12 its most exciting update yet (leading to both this and the previously published piece). Named the Chanel J12 XS, the new petite 19mm model is still beguiling with a case in either black or white high-tech ceramic, but it now exudes vibes that are way more girly than macho. There are four permanent boutique styles: the first two have slim patent calfskin straps that are worn over larger matte calfskin cuffs. The third is attached onto a pair of supple lambskin gloves, while the fourth features a patent calfskin cuff in multiple rows that’s quite rock ‘n’ roll.

Chanel J12 watch Baselworld

Black high-tech ceramic and steel with patent calfskin, lambskin and diamonds

The making of the J12 XS also involved France’s most brilliant craftsmen such as glove makers from the House of Causse and couture embroiderers from Maison Lesage (the latter is behind the most artistic dials of Chanel’s Mademoiselle Privé timepiece range). To make the new model even more desirable, there are also six sequinned styles which are hand-embroidered by Maison Lesage to resemble the natural patterns found on exotic python, alligator and shark leather.

For those with more exquisite taste, there are also four unique and extremely wearable high jewelry models. One comes with a large solid cuff (they are unlike the boutique-exclusive Chanel J12 XS watch cuffs, which are supple) while two come with smaller, solid cuffs. All three are decorated with diamond-set white gold trims. Finally, there is a cheeky time-telling ring that is set with 24 baguette-cut diamonds around a white gold flange.

“The J12 introduced a new colour and a new spirit to quite a traditional-looking watch. And because it’s a traditional-looking watch, it would be boring if we made it in steel. Ours in ceramic told people something different.” declared Nicolas Beau, Chanel’s international watch director.

This story was first published in l‘Officiel Singapore

Chanel, Caroline de Maigret Launch CdMDiary Site

Chanel, Caroline de Maigret Launch CdMDiary Site

Caroline de Maigret can add another title to her impressive portfolio with the CdMDiary website. Apart from being a producer and model, she will now the person behind the new Chanel lifestyle portal; while it is not explicitly stated, you can guess the CdM in CdMDiary stands for Caroline de Maigret. The model and the brand share a long history with each other. Back in 1998, de Maigret walked the ramp for Karl Lagerfeld during his presentation of the spring/summer ready-to-wear collection.

Since then, she has seen herself not only model for the brand but also become its spokesperson and most recently its ambassador. As the narrator of the lifestyle portal, de Maigret will share her journey and passion, which is linked to the French fashion house. Her focus, on fashion and art, will be split into six sections.

“N°1” will be on of the sections that focus on essential pieces, womenswear must-haves and tips on how to wear them. “Dressing Talks,” explores various celebrity wardrobes, and “Backstage,” offers a glimpse behind the scenes at catwalk shows and major events. Like its narrator — a multifaceted character, passionate about music, books and photography — the site doesn’t just focus on fashion. The “Crushes” section features Caroline de Maigret’s current cultural highlights, “Best places” lists her favorite haunts and “Music Itw” sees special guests share the songs and music that shaped their lives.

“I am extremely proud to have been chosen by Chanel because I love the Chanel woman and what she represents. I love how Gabrielle Chanel was involved in the arts, in literature, in painting.” explains Caroline de Maigret. She added that “When Chanel asked me to be a spokesperson for the brand, we thought about means of communication to decide how I was going to express myself and talk about the fashion house. Straight away, we thought about creating a lifestyle platform,”

3 Hottest Prints Trends: Spring/Summer 2017

Prints dominated the Spring/Summer 2017 collections and this trend is set to be big for the upcoming season. Ranging from retro to masculine, pop art and even minimalist chic, we take a look at three of the hottest print trends this season.

Retro ChicRetro prints have a 1970s vibe at Chloé. © BERTRAND GUAY / AFP

From Isabel Marant to Chloé (main picture), Dries Van Noten, Michael Kors and even Prada, the retro vibe was out in in full force. Embracing the 70s effect, designers featured prints in the form of large flowers, big bright blooms as well as diamond and check prints. Shown in head to toe looks, the retro prints are set to make a comeback — talk about a blast from the past.

Geometric Prints000_dv2232740-f2a01145433-h0

Lanvin, Paul Ka, Chanel, Fendi (above) and Nina Ricci are keeping last season’s trend of stripes. Inpinstripes, widebands, horizontal and vertical, the pattern was seen on oversized shorts, dresses, overcoats, pants and coats. Another geometric print seen, was polka dots. In classic shades, the pattern was seen in collections for the likes of Dior. Patchwork also made a comeback on the runways with designers such as Marc Jacobs. Sporting bohemian and romantic discreet form of patchworking along with a 1990s version, the pattern proved to still be a hit after more than one season. Ellie Saab, on the other hand, went big on stars, embroidered or printed all over sumptuous dresses for an out-of-this-world look.

Messages Galore000_dv2232432-41b6e150412-h0

Printed letters, numbers, logos, large motifs, quotes and slogans land as wearable messages this season as seen on Gucci (above). While Dolce & Gabbana is clearly a master of the genre, it isn’t the only label playing the game. The current craze for streetwear is buoying the trend, with potential buyers passing all kinds of messages from designers to the public at large. It’s a trend that’s fun, practical and light-hearted, and very much in line with the spirit of the season.

Designer Christmas Trees To Be Auctioned For Charity

The biggest names in fashion, art and design will design 30 Christmas trees to go under the hammer later this month. The ‘Designer Christmas Trees’ charity auction is set to for November 21 at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, France, in what happens to be the 21st edition.

All proceeds from the holiday auction will be donated to fund cancer research, under the patronage of Professor Khayat, oncologist, President and founder of the Paris Charter Against Cancer (Charte de Paris contre le cancer). The festive auction event was founded by fashion journalist and producer Marie-Christiane Marek, who still leads the organization of the event. ‘Designer Christmas Trees’ celebrates creativity, design, and high-end expertise – all for a good cause.

This year’s event theme is ‘Gold and Light’. Designers from notable fashion houses and labels will be creating their own unique Christmas trees, based on their personal take on the theme. For the first time, the designers will be invited to also create gifts to place under the tree. Event attendees will be able to take pictures with each designer’s Christmas tree, as well as sculptures, photo prints and works of art.

Chanel, Dior, Chantal Thomass, Christian Lacroix, Elie Saab, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Jean Paul Gaultier, Lancel, Prada, Ungaro, Stella McCartney, Francis Kurkdjian, Christian Ghion, Jean-Jacques Ory, Olivia Putman, Rachid Khimoune and Marlène Mocquet are among the artists and designers signed up to take part in the 2016 event.

This 21st edition of “Designer Christmas Trees” includes three main events. First, the switching-on of the Christmas lights in Paris’ Avenue Montaigne, November 18. Next, the unique Christmas trees will go on public display, November 19 and 20, at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, ahead of the gala evening and auction (by invitation only), November 21, also at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.

Caroline de Maigret Models Chanel ‘Derby’ Shoe

The French model, Caroline de Maigret, can be seen sporting the new two-tone shoes in a black-and-white short film directed by Bertrand le Pluard for the luxury fashion house. The clip, which De Maigret has posted to her Instagram account, sees her skipping around the streets of her hometown of Paris, having teamed the tomboy-style shoes with rolled-up masculine trousers and a fine knit sweater.

The androgynous footwear, part of the label’s 2016/17 cruise collection, feature a various smooth, patent, exotic and even perforated leather uppers, topped off with a black leather toe — a reference to the brand’s founder Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel’s first shoe designs in 1957. Natural leather soles resemble wood, while the label’s signature double C logo appears in metal on each heel. The bright, bold uppers, which range from pink and silver to gold, black and white, were inspired by the Cuban city of Havana.

The Chanel 'Derby' Shoe

The Chanel ‘Derby’ Shoe

Model, writer and music producer De Maigret became an official Chanel ambassador back in July, following a long friendship with the brand’s designer Karl Lagerfeld which had seen her act as a muse for the house for several years. Her new role in the group, which has placed her on the same level as the house’s fellow ambassadors Lily Rose Depp, Kristen Stewart and Willow Smith, is one of several recent high-profile fashion projects — she was unveiled as one of the faces of British brand Karen Millen’s spring campaign back in January, and teamed up with cosmetics giant Lancome on a “Parisian Inspiration by Caroline de Maigret” collection in the autumn of 2015.

Creating Fashion that Sells Isn’t a Sin

What is the point of high fashion these days? Is there a reason that designers still get to sit on their high horses when the most talked about brand these days is Vetements, with all its nonstop talk about “clothing people actually wear”? It’s really an issue of the industry failing to catch up with the times, which is strangely ironic considering that fashion is supposed to represent and extol the times it lives in.

In the aughts of haute couture, and really since before the time of Charles Frederick Worth (considered the progenitor of high fashion) and Marie Antoinette, what fashion represented in the zeitgeist and times was desire. Plain and simple, it was about elevating and making clothing so beautiful, flattering, and jealousy-inducing that it was a means to a social end. Fashion is so strikingly bourgeois and hierarchical today precisely because it has, for so many years, represented a certain degree of sophistication and, indeed, wealth.

Selling isn't a sin: Chanel

Chanel

So what is high fashion for today, if Chanel is no longer haughtily pronouncing items of clothing démodé and instead, planting emojis onto accessories and clothing? If a brand as vaunted and intellectual as Prada is selling bags straight off the runway, can it still maintain a cachet of luxury and intelligence without the stink of shilling products (perhaps by making customers wait for the rest of its seasonal fashion direction)?

Selling isn't a sin: Balenciaga

Balenciaga

I posit that high fashion today is returning to its core, plain and simple, all over again. It is about beautiful clothing, wonderful things people feel an urge to wear, and representing the cultural values of the times. It is why Balenciaga under Demna Gvasalia feels so… right. With its post-modern melding of old-world techniques and new-age street-wise tricks, it has been vaulted right back into the fashion consciousness – and it is worth paying attention to again. With the advertising and PR money of fashion, it sometimes becomes difficult to differentiate what’s worth the time and what’s paid for. The purest reaction, then, is clothing that can convince customers to part with money to put on their back.

Selling isn't a sin: Vetements

Vetements

The ’90s were all at once the best and worst time for intellectual fashion, but that’s gone down the drain now. Conglomeration of brands and companies meant that fashion as an art and a means to an end was becoming monetized. Think of LVMH, Kering and Prada group’s expansions at the time.

Today, LVMH’s brands are represented in a good half of all fashion magazines’ front bumper of ads. Louis Vuitton, Dior, Céline, Loewe, Kenzo, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Fendi – even jewelry and watch brands such as Bulgari, Chaumet, Hublot, TAG Heuer, etc. Kering rounds it up with Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, etc. Where did the mavericks like Helmut Lang and Martin Margiela go?

In an environment where people simply demanded more and more clothing, it became hard for such intellectually-driven and conceptual designers to continue – never mind that the clothes they designed and created were eminently wearable and beautiful. But it was tricky, because the old shows from Prada, for instance, were such subtle exercises in decryption. Meaning was layered and veiled, and it took a trained eye and mind to pick apart what exactly Mrs Prada was saying each season. Today, a collection like its FW16 vagabond girls-on-the-run one is, while beautiful, almost obvious to interpret. In recent seasons too: fast cars and sweaty glamour, stiff Stepford wives’ tailoring, duney desert travellers. They make big political and cultural statements, but they’re plain to see.

Selling isn't a sin: Saint Laurent

Saint Laurent

Therein lies the problem. When fashion becomes grounds for intellectual concepts, customers get frustrated. It was famously hard for people to grasp Craig Green’s debut SS15 collection with flowing judoka quilts and banners bound to the models. But it struck a chord with the industry collective viewing the show – inspiring some tears, even. Here was a collection set against an Enya soundtrack, resplendent in creative liberty and in the luxury of time it took to craft. It was beautiful and it sold. Next season, he did a similar thing – line and silhouette were only slightly different, but there was a complete reversal in the reaction of the press. Lambasts of similarity and repetition abounded, and it became clear that the industry was on the same page as its readers’ attention spans. Never mind giving designers time to develop an idea and letting it stew, mutate, evolve and be felt out. We wanted more and more of the new.

Selling isn't a sin: Prada

Prada

So where is intellectual fashion’s place in today’s fast-paced commercial churning environment? It is a conundrum that is hard to solve. Perhaps that is why Vetements is so successful – because it makes you feel like you’re thinking and being smart about things while contributing no effort at all. Perhaps it is why Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent was such a runaway commercial success – because you didn’t have to think while wearing his clothes, you just had to partake in his vacuous vein of L.A. grungy cool. Perhaps it is why Phoebe Philo’s Céline is so influential – women don’t have to think about what they’re representing to the world because Philo’s clothing whispers refinement for them. Perhaps it is why Alessandro Michele’s Gucci is so refreshing – they’re simply fun to wear (the same, season after season) and don’t offer much by way of a political or cultural message.

I am not against any of this.

Selling isn't a sin: Jacquemus

Jacquemus

On the contrary, it is the way fashion is today, and to whine about time gone by is to be astoundingly near-sighted – rather, rear-sighted. Karl Lagerfeld has been so good for Chanel exactly because he takes to the times he lives in like a cultural sponge. There’s a respect to the historical foundations of the brand, but even more surely a perspective of today.

Selling isn't a sin: Gucci

Gucci

What I’m saying is that “commercial” isn’t necessarily a bad word. We’ve been wary of the financial beast for long enough; it’s time to be smart about it and synthesize what we know with what we want. There’s a reason designers such as Christian Lacroix went out of business despite his reign in the ’80s and ’90s in Paris: extravagance and bonanza dresses stopped becoming relevant. After sobering financial crashes, actual plane crashes and a global worldview of uncertainty, the dream was over.

Selling isn't a sin: Dries Van Nolen

Dries Van Nolen

Today, the new dream is perhaps clothes that slide right into daily life. A note: I’m not saying poorly designed and poorly made clothes with nary a thought or smarts should get a pass for being easy to buy and wear. I’m talking about fashion that has a contextual place in contemporary culture and represents a designer’s point of view. Ultimately, that’s the place of fashion: on our backs.

This article was first published in L’Officiel Singapore.

Chanel Classic Flap Bag: Immortalizing Pop Culture

If there’s anything we can’t buy, it’s time. Thank goodness for online shopping, same-day delivery, concierge services and 7-Eleven, but it’s been a while since those godsends were created. Today’s innovators, who recognize the potential of efficiency and time savings that technology promises, are constantly outdoing themselves to satiate our boredom and laziness – through entertainment.

Look at the lingua franca du jour – emoji – and how thoroughly entertaining that is!

Take, for instance, Emoji Dick, a full translation of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick into emoji. It is the full utilization of concentrated intelligence at its most redundant — but hey, at least it is fun. After all, doesn’t fun reign supreme in this era of hyper-consumerism?

While the probability of sustaining an actual conversation entirely in emoji is close to 0%, and the risk of messages being lost in translation is very high, it is still amusing. In fact, the guessing game adds to its allure. If a peach emoji is equivalent to buttocks, you can assume what an eggplant means! Emoji, being the semiotic marvel that it is, would have made a tough intellectual exercise even for Baudrillard, Saussure or Barthes. But somehow, we can navigate an entire row of random symbols.

But this seemingly trivial pursuit of sign language, as it were, has deeper cultural significance, and what better example to illustrate this point than Kim Kardashian and her peculiar world of Kimoji? As overexposed as she is, this woman is the epitomic product of the zeitgeist. Thanks to her reality TV show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, we even know what event prompted a now-immortal face of a crying Kim. (We’re still miffed that Kimoji doesn’t work like it should on WhatsApp.)

So. What has all this got to do with fashion? Like an emoji, a recognizable silhouette speaks of universality. While your mum may not understand the significance of a donut and banana emoji put together, she’ll know a Chanel bag when she sees one. There’s no doubt that Chanel is part of pop culture. Surprisingly, it was underplayed this season. Even the show’s set design – usually an elaborate affair like Chanel Airlines from Spring 2016, the casino set for Fall 2015 couture and the epic supermarket from Fall 2014 – was understated. Interestingly, the absence of a showstopping set reinforced the power of the brand; the collection didn’t feel gimmicky at all.

The essence of this symbolization is distilled in this season’s flap bag, which is heavily adorned with brand-specific emoji: Choupette, Chanel creative director, Karl Lagerfeld’s cat; the Camelia, the house’s signature flower; and the Chanel logo’s interlocking C’s. These are intermingled with standard emoji, including the thumbs-up icon, the peace sign and the four-leaf clover. It is a beautiful mix. Few houses are able to parade the iconography of pop culture so efficiently and effectively.

What Chanel has done is virtually instant art. It is funny how an object becomes art in much less time when you take something that’s already manufactured and then give it new perspective. That’s what Marcel Duchamp recogniszed with his readymades. He took a urinal, tilted it to the right and confined it to a glass box. Bam! Art! And that’s really what embracing post-modernism is about: we’re living in an age of recycling the past and glorifying the now.

It is true, you can’t buy time, but you can buy a Chanel bag.

This article was first published in L’Officiel Singapore

Lily-Rose Depp Chanel No.5 L'Eau

Lily-Rose Depp Stars In Chanel N.5 L’Eau Film

Lily-Rose Depp is not just Hollywood royalty — she is the daughter of actor Johnny Depp and French singer Vanessa Paradis for those who are unfamiliar. The model and budding actress is also the youngest face of Chanel. For the upcoming holiday season, the brand has introduced a new N.5 L’Eau fragrance. With the younger Depp starring in the Chanel N.5 L’Eau film “You know me, and you don’t”, we get to learn more about the fragrance and what is store for the senses.

To watch the video, head to L’Officiel Singapore.

Chanel J12 XS Watch: Little Wonder

How many ways can there be to wear a watch? Plenty, if you ask Chanel. And it’s not the insouciance talking. With the J12 XS, there literally are numerous ways to strap it on. Shedding much new perspective on the idea of wearable time, the French maison capitalised on its knack for fashion to offer the stylish set time as defined by Chanel.

Designed by the late Jacques Helleu, who was artistic director of Chanel for more than 40 years, the J12 has been around long enough to be identified but still has a long way to go before the watch collecting cognoscenti would accord it the recognition it seeks. That the horological purist hesitates to pick it up isn’t something that fazes the J12 because it knows that its place is among the fashion falcons of the world. Indeed, the J12 is practically worshipped in those circles, and for good reason.

This elegant timepiece with a fluted bezel and clean, contemporary dial was one of the first to embrace high-tech ceramic as a material for cases and bracelets. Indeed, brilliant polished ceramic in either black or white defined the look for Chanel timepieces, giving way to additional future variations like metallized ceramic as seen in the J12 Chromatic.

j12-xs_black_small_cuff_noire_fond_blanc

Whether quartz-powered or mechanical, the J12 exists in a multitude of sizes, from 29mm to 47mm in the J12 Retrograde Mysterieuse Tourbillon. These days, when the sensibilities of watchmaking have taken a turn towards more humble proportions, Chanel doesn’t miss a beat. In fact, it leapfrogged over all the major luxury watch companies and made a super-downsized version of the J12 named, aptly, the J12 XS. Measuring just 19mm across, the J12 XS may not be a heavyweight; rarely are the fashion-conscious. But what it lacks in heft, it makes up for in creativity.

j12xs_manchette_blanche_lesage_broderie_aligator_fondnoir-edited

Those eager to complete their Chanel ensemble can look forward to four references in either a black or white slim patent leather calfskin strap, which is to be worn over a matte calfskin cuff with silver piping. But when the mood strikes, feel free to go for the biker chic look by pairing the watch with those black lambskin fingerless gloves made especially for the J12 XS by luxury glove maker, Maison Causse – what better way to channel your inner Lagerfeld?

j12-xs_watch_black_gloves_fond_blanc

You could also choose to make a big, bold fashion statement literally by wearing the extra-small timepiece on a dazzling extra-large cuff that even the blind would not miss. Or if you’re feeling quixotic, how about the J12 XS high jewelry ring that’s even more adorkable than Zooey Deschanel at her perkiest.

j12-xs_white_small_cuff_blanche_fond_blanc

But the Maison is not content to stop here. Further collaborations with Maison Causse, and the French couture embroiderer, Maison Lesage, are primed to seduce your wrists. They include long gloves, hand-embroidered cuffs, and cuffs adorned with sequins and glass beads simulating python, alligator, and shagreen leather. These will be unique pieces in either black or white – the Maison Chanel’s spiritual colors.

This story was first published in World of Watches.

Chanel N°5 L’Eau Limited Edition Holiday Special

Chanel is ushering in the holiday season with a limited edition ‘N°5 L’Eau’ in a crystal bottle. The new interpretation is so exclusive that it will be made available by reservation only. The 900ml bottle that is set to be rolled out on November 4 is one that is set to catch the eyes of collectors and aficionados of luxury perfumes.

What sets this special edition apart from other versions of the iconic fragrance is the bottle that is made entirely out of crystal. Cut like a diamond, the bottle is sealed with a special skin to help preserve the fragrance. Retaining the clean, classic lines or the original bottle as well as the name, the bottle is completed with a faceted cap and is presented in a white lambskin box.

With only 15 numbered editions of the Holiday 2016 edition being made available, this is one gift that will make any holiday season feel special. All reservations must be made directly with Chanel.

Saint Laurent Paris Fashion Week

5 Runway Trends: Paris Fashion Week

As far as the news cycle goes, Paris Fashion Week was overshadowed by the robbery involving Kim Kardashian and millions worth of jewelry. But that does not mean that the catwalks in the city delivered anything but the finest designs for the upcoming season. We take a look at five of the best runway trends from Paris Fashion Week.

Glitter Gang

The designers have brought the glitter to the catwalks in numerous ways. From the shiny vinyl fabrics that were used in jackets and skirts to tight 1980s-inspired off shoulder tops, Mugler and Kenzo brought some sparkle to their collections. Like Dior and Lanvin, Nicolas Ghesquiere used gold and silver gleam to provide a little rock-lux to the Louis Vuitton collection.

Under Where?
Lanvin Paris Fashion Week

Lanvin

Transparency is the name of the game for many this season. Most designers included at least one or two see-through dresses or tops in their collections with a majority of the sheer black tops and “Belle de Jour” tulle dresses were worn without bras on the runway. However, Chanel was one brand that used underwear as outerwear through lingerie dresses that were seen through most of the collection. Over at Lanvin and Agnes b, their silky pajama suits proclaimed “It’s summer, why get dressed at all…”

In Bad Taste

Saint Laurent’s Vaccarello went flashy with stilettos that had the letters YSL forming the heels. The designer also went with mono-boob dresses for women who preferred to make an entrance — or maybe Lady Gaga. There was no shame at Dior with the brand showing off the slogan “J’adore Dior” on shoulder straps, straps of its sandals and belts. Chanel embraced some style secrets of rappers by pairing its baseball caps with chunky rapper bling diamond jewelry.

Return Of The Establishments
Dior Paris fashion Week

Dior

While the last few years have seen young rebel labels take over the runways, this fashion week has seen the likes of Dior, Saint Laurent, Lanvin and Leonard climb back to the top of the pile. While neither Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior nor Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent are revolutionaries, there is a edgy energy in their spring-summer collections that promises the old stagers could surprise us yet.

Tickled Pink

From Chanel to Valentino and Nina Ricci, pink hues proved to be another trend on the catwalks. Pale ivory pinks were dominant for lingerie dresses. Two toga dresses from Celine used the soft shade to cut the edgy oversized feel.

Chanel 2017 Spring/Summer ready-to-wear © AFP PHOTO / PATRICK KOVARIK

Chanel SS17: Digital Femininity

Every Chanel show is highly anticipated for many reasons, only one of which is the current collection, this time Spring/Summer 2017 ready-to-wear. The other reason is pure showmanship, courtesy of the man known as the Kaiser. This time, Karl Lagerfeld transformed the Grand Palais into a Chanel ‘Data Center’.

The Spring/Summer collection took on the theme of ‘intimate technology’, expressed as an ode to feminine softness. Yes, hard to believe but Lagerfeld made it work. Ruffles, a prominent trend of the season’s fashion weeks, was seen adorning sleek blouses. The collection’s palette included blue, red, yellow, pink, and purple, with some pastels and electric shades.

Chanel 2017 Spring/Summer ready-to-wear © PATRICK KOVARIK / AFP

Chanel 2017 Spring/Summer ready-to-wear © PATRICK KOVARIK / AFP

Lagerfeld integrated the technology theme into Chanel’s contemporary feminine style. Delicate silk, lace and crepe georgette were juxtaposed with modern details of touch fasteners, rubber and vinyl strips alongside the house’s famous tweeds, and threads resembling electronic cables. It sounds weird (or perhaps wired) but the pictures say otherwise. Silk dresses bore digital-inspired motifs and sequins resembled electronic components. Models wore big pendant necklaces and carried futuristic robot clutches, topped with a cap worn sideways.

The Chanel DNA was still very much ‘programmed’ into the presentations. The house’s traditional tweed jackets topped off silk and lace negligees. The feminine lace was seen on shell guipure petticoats and a chic pair of silk pyjama trousers.

Paris-Salzburg Métiers d'Art show

Ritz Paris Hosts Chanel Metiers d’Art Show

It seems that Chanel is taking a break from its exotic travels abroad. Following Rome, Salzburg, Dallas and Mumbai, the Metiers d’Art show this year will be held within the confines of the iconic Ritz Paris this winter.

the-ritz-paris-hotel

Choosing The Ritz wasn’t by chance – Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel lived in the hotel for more than 30 years, even decorating the luxury apartment herself. Located at the French capital’s prestigious Place Vendome, the Ritz underwent a four-year facelift that saw a new ‘terrasse’ and fewer rooms (from 159 to 142) so guests can enjoy a more spacious experience. And because the Mademoiselle herself made The Ritz her home away from home, the hotel has also added the world’s first Chanel spa to its already-extensive list of uber-decadent facilities.

chanel-metiers-d'art-paris-in-rome

The 12th Chanel Metiers d’Art show, “Paris inRome”
© AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS

The Chanel Metiers d’Art show has long been a platform to honor the Maison’s longstanding dedication to craftsmanship and artistry in each of its collections. The show also pays tribute to the workshops, with its artisans and partners involved in the laborious process of creating the clothes – all the way from the drawing board to the runway. This would, however, mark the second time the French label has chosen to focus on Paris. Its 2015 collection – “Paris in Rome” – was an homage to both Parisian theater and the rising fashion capital.

Chanel Expands Coco Crush Jewelry Collection

Chanel’s “Coco Crush” Jewelry collection is welcoming a few new pieces to the range. The designs – partially paved with diamond ‘constellations’ – will be made available at Chanel Jewelry boutiques later this month to help expand the range for Fall 2016.

The campaign for the expanding collection features Keira Knightley as the new face of “Coco Crush”. Shot by Mario Testino, the campaign adds to the actress’s portfolio with the brand, having fronted the “Coco Mademoiselle” fragrance and the “Rouge Coco” lipstick campaigns. “Thanks to her natural elegance and freedom, she perfectly embodies this resolutely modern fine jewelry collection,” said Chanel back in June.bague_coco_crush-chanel

Even further back, in April 2015, Chanel introduced the first creations that featured the iconic quilted motifs to honor Gabrielle Chanel’s love for all things equestrian. The new additions drew on the creativity, brand symbols and chic designs that helped propel the simple pattern into the brand’s signature symbol. First seen in Chanel’s couture collection in 1920, the Matelassé design can also be found in other iconic colelctions by the brand, such as the 2.55 bag.manchette_coco-crush-chanel

Joining the existing range are rings and cuffs that will not only feature the quilted pattern in finely engraved gold but also paved with diamond constellations. Another symbol featured in the update that was dear to its founder, is the lion. The majestic beast is seen on diamond cuffs in white and yellow gold.

L’Officiel Malaysia 1st anniversary issue unveiled

This month, L’Officiel Malaysia will be celebrating its first birthday and in lieu with the celebration, L’Officiel Malaysia has unveiled its September 2016 1st Anniversary issue.

Clad in Chanel’s Fall/Winter 2016 “Front Row Only” collection, sensational Asian model Wangy Xin Yu (@wangy015) fronts the celebratory issue with edge and style.

For this anniversary issue, L’Officiel Malaysia has gone to collaborate with a long list of local artist and talents including local illustrators who reinterpreted some of the hottest Fall/Winter 2016 collections and a special feature on the 10 fashion faces to watch in the local industry.

Tagged “MY1LOFF“, L’Officiel Malaysia has also launched a dedicated section on its digital portal to feature exclusive content in lieu of the first anniversary celebration.

For more exclusive content and L’Officiel’s interview with Wangy Xin Yu, visit www.lofficielmalaysia.com.

Isabel Marant

Long Coats Fall/Winter 2016: Trending Now

Winter is when you can enjoy the warmth of those coats and jackets that are usually shunned. This year several designers have brought out designs that are longer than last year, now falling around the ankle. Though the trend was not embraced by all, there was a handful who made the term “the longer the better” a new motto for the season. We take a look at those who dared to bring back the style that has been languishing in the back of the wardrobe all these years.

We start with Nina Ricci who brought out coats in various fabrics such as fur and vinyl and an array of colors. In khaki, brown, plum, anthracite and gray, the coats were completed in various patterns. Another designer who chose to feature vinyl coats was Isabel Marant. The long coats were seen in red and black, as well as chunky knits and more classic pieces finished with geometric prints.

Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana and Chanel

From left: Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana and Chanel

Where some favored the unexpected and loud, other designers chose to feature the long coats in a more refined and sophisticated style. At Giambattista Valli the style was crafted in a way that blended seamlessly over the dresses they covered, still providing evening wear with the elegance it required. Chanel went with a more refined style, that featured a loose quilted coat, complete with a matching scarf. Over at Dolce & Gabbana, the long coat was seen in flamboyant gold. The brand went on to embrace a more feminine feel by cinching coats of all lengths with belts for a more accentuated waistline. This trend was spotted at Lanvin, with a lamé coat, and with Fendi’s fur coat.

Prada and Céline

From Left: Prada and Céline

For the more masculine designs, some fashion houses chose loose and baggy designs in both heavy and light fabrics. With the help of large shoulders, and oversized necks, the long coats such as those seen at Isabel Marant achieved the desired look. The designer chose to combine both vibes by wearing the masculine coats over feminine ensembles and vice versa. Another brand that favoured a masculine feel, was Céline with long coats that were cut loose and straight and worn with baggy pants. With Prada, the long coats were seen in khaki in a military style.

Faces of Denim Fall 2016

Many Faces of Denim Fall 2016

A wardrobe staple that can be worn for days (hygiene conditions permitting) and through almost any season, denim was a trend we recognized on the runways for fall. The unmistakable denim look was featured in both clothing and accessories. In fact, it was so unmistakeable that plenty of news outlets have pointed it out. We take a look at ways that the versatile and durable material has dominated the season’s catwalk shows.

Paul & Joe Fall 2016

Paul & Joe Fall 2016

Even major-labels jumped on the bandwagon by featuring whitewashed denim either on its own or with a mix of materials such as tweed. Brands also crafted pieces such as long coats with the fabric. At Miu Miu, denim was everywhere, in various tones, from shirts to long skirts, jackets and light extra-long coats, which were then decorated with badges, pearls or lace. Paul & Joe opted for a more subdued look by using it in jackets and trousers resulting in a masculine style reminiscent of the late 1970s, while Stella McCartney honored the fashion perennial by showcasing it in washed-out form for a button-down dress and an oversized jacket worn like a coat.

Chanel Fall 2016

Chanel Fall 2016

One unexpected brand that featured denim was none other than Chanel. At its show in Paris, the French label brought out numerous pieces in the material, which is not something that Chanel typically does. Of course, Karl Lagerfeld added a modern twist by combining it with pink fuchsia tweed. At Chanel’s show, denim had never looked so smart, finding its way into tailored jackets, bags, hats and gloves, and combined with tweed, silk, embroidery and pearls. The collection was anchored in the fashion house’s DNA, but had a fresh, modern feel with touches of sportswear.