Thursday, 7 October 2010

Little black dresses, white feathers, and dove grey scribbles





Like many others, I am a longstanding fan of dove grey reader, so I'm thrilled she has been enjoying Coco. As always, she has made some intriguing connections: take a peep at what she has to say about her father, Winston Churchill, and why women are so good at salmon fishing...
Meanwhile, have been hither and thither, in the virtual and physical world. To Paris, to see the Chanel show on Tuesday morning (of which more later), which took over the vast space of the Grand Palais, and yet seemed also to lead into the dream-like landscape of Last Year at Marienbad. We've talked about Resnais's enigmatic film on this blog before now -- and its links to Chanel past (Delphine Seyrig's costumes were designed by Coco) -- and so it was intriguing to see it shape-shifting into the present (itself a prediction of the future, given that this show was -- is? -- the spring/summer 2011 collection).
I loved the feathers, the little black dresses, the fact that grownup women were on the catwalk -- Stella Tennant, Ines de la Fressange. I'm still wondering about the ghosts that haunt Resnais's film and Karl Lagerfeld's fashion show... and about the 1920s feathered cape that I peeked in the Chanel archive at Place Vendome; and wings of desire and flights of fantasy; of gardens and mirrors and the torn veil between now and then...

11 comments:

kairu said...

Am very much enjoying all these interviews and reviews and observations, each one reflecting a little more light on the puzzle that is Chanel...

I must confess, the first (and last) time I saw 'Last Year at Marienbad,' I rather quickly gave up on trying to follow the story and instead concentrated on swooning over the clothes...must watch it again.

I grew up in an era (the 1980's) when Chanel meant a chain-handled quilted handbag and a boxy suit and strands of pearls; now, the ravishingly romantic creations of earlier times always sweep me away.

jaywalker said...

"I grew up in an era (the 1980's) when Chanel meant a chain-handled quilted handbag and a boxy suit and strands of pearls;"

YES - well, I was already grown up in the 80s and I've just remembered - I had a cheap copy but I loved it - pink and grey check tweed suit with cream crocheted edging and gilt buttons, worn with a fake silk shirt and ditto gold chains. I thought I was the epitome of glamour!

Lilacs In May said...

Just off to have lunch with The Lady, 1st time I've purchased. Very striking cover got my attention.

In the 90's I bought a Chanel style jacket from a Vintage shop in Amsterdam, in a very un-Chanel bright red. Still love it today.

Pink Shoes Girl said...

Dear Justine

I am the Director of Luxury Brand Management programme at Regent's College. We hold a prestigious Luxury Lecture Series at the college, and hosted speakers such as Roja Dove, Jean Biver (CEO of Hublot), Paul Smith, and many more to come. I would be thrilled to have you as a speaker, and talk about Coco Chanel.

My email is karran@regents.ac.uk, and I hope to be in touch.

Thanks very much,

Neri

Parthenope said...

Could you post a link to your previous remarks about 'Last year in Marienbad' ?

enid said...

My only memory of Last Year at Marienbad is that a woman spent 2 hours telling us about the film before it started and I slept through the film as a result.

Justine Picardie said...

Parthenope -- Marienbad has come up on this blog on several occasions (if you google it, with my name, you'll find the results) -- look out for Kairu's comments on it.

Dash said...

Just finished your book Justine, it really helped my recovery with flu, have reviewed it on my site!

kairu said...

Speaking of feathers and wings of desire, another favorite film of mine is Wim Wenders' "Wings of Desire (Der Himmel ├╝ber Berlin)," with its stunning views of Berlin, the angels watching over the people of the city, and the swooping aerial acrobatics of a be-winged Solveig Dommartin.

Justine Picardie said...

Dash -- I'm glad that Coco helped with flu. And Kairu, I'm also a fan of Wings of Desire. And The Wings of the Dove, as well.

oxford-reader said...

That last picture reminds me of Katharine Hepburn in one of her early films, which is odd, considering the connection ....