GABRIELLE CHANEL: THE TRENDSETTER
If you thought embodying your own brand was a fresh new idea, recently invented by Instagram stars, YouTubers and “influencers ”who make a living from living their brand, you are sadly mistaken.
Gabrielle aka “Coco ” Chanel invented the cult of personality long before your great-grandmother smiled out from her perambulator.
She set the codes in the early ’20s. Her aesthetic was pure modernism in its most formidable execution, while mining ideas from the past and visual fixations she developed and made her own.
The double C? A classic motif on signet rings embraced by the powerful nobility of yore, reinterpreted for the newly powerful and self-invented mademoiselle in ascendancy. Now that double C conveys instant cachet and luxurious meaning.
Paris? She owns it —what with her residency in the Ritz and her apartment in the Rue Cambon, visited these days privately by the select few as if visiting a shrine. A shrine to the brand of Chanel.
Karl Lagerfeld said as much with the astounding setting for the recent Haute Couture Autumn Winter 2017-18 collection, for which the Eiffel Tower was recreated in the Palais Royale to underscore the Paris of Chanel.
She carved a niche for the modern working woman, she lived the brand with her practical clothes, small jackets, and jersey fabric that speak of power, ease and the subtle effect of bespoke tailoring. And yet she never undermined the joy of femininity and the frivolous delight of faux bijoux, pearls in multiple strands and the playfulness of being your own person.
It was a message that could not be effaced despite a world war. Her message found new life in the ’70s when women returned to the work space with a vengeance as did she in her later years. Never giving up the gig.
Gabrielle was her private name used for contracts, serious business engagement, family and very intimate friends. It's also the name of the brand's newest perfume, which will be launching September 1.
Coco has yet again reinvented herself for a new era.
GABRIELLE CHANEL: THE FRAGRANCE
Top notes: mandarin orange, grapefruit, blackcurrant.
Middle notes: ylang-ylang, tuberose, orange blossom, jasmine.
Base notes: sandalwood, musk. Perfumer: Olivier Polge.
We say: A true floral rebel and the perfect balance of zest and florals without any unwanted sweetness. A timeless scent.
Expect to pay: Gabrielle CHANEL EDP 50ml, R1,745
CHANEL: THE LATEST COLLECTION
This year’s show was a celebration of classic Parisian style as well as the house’s signature silhouettes and palettes. The classic black and white tweed suits and structured hats were heavily contrasted by the beauty look, which was a kaleidoscopic masterpiece.
Playing off the revived ’80s trend of washing a veil of colour over the eyes, temples and brows, Chanel’s take on the trend looked polished, timeless and could even be the next generation of the classic smoky eye.
HOW TO DO A CHANEL-INSPIRED MAKEUP LOOK
THE SKINSkin is kept illuminated and fresh with the use of a liquid foundation that allows the skin’s natural texture to peep through. Glow is the key so up the ante on radiance by setting your foundation with a sheer, iridescent loose powder. Finish off with a neutral lip shade on the pout.
THE EYESBold eyes such as these can look too harsh and theatrical. The trick here is to make the eyes the sole focus, muting the lips and skin to the background, keeping in mind the textures and placement of the products used.
Dab a creamy eyeshadow primer on your bare eyelid to create a solid base for your eyeshadow colour to sit and really pop. When placing colour on the eyes, use a dabbing rather than a sweeping motion to ensure that the colour payoff stays true on the skin. Use a fluffy eyeshadow brush to blend the colours at the edges and create a seamless gradation.
Apply a jewel blue shadow in the crease of the eye to add depth, as well as on the lower lash line and outer corners. Concentrate the warm red and yellow accent colours on the centre of the lids, inner corners and the brow bone to highlight and lift the eye area. The colours should meld into one another so blending is your friend here.
No matter how colourful your eye makeup is, always define the eye to prevent it looking flat. Rim the waterline with a black kohl eye pencil, or a dark brown eye pencil if you prefer something more subtle, and smudge it into the lower lash line with a brush.
Finish with mascara on the top and bottom lashes.
1) Bobbi Brown Long Wear Eye Base in Light to Medium 7ml, R415
2) Chanel Ombre Premiere Longwear Powder Eyeshadow in 34 Poudre d’Or, R575
3) Chanel Ombre Premiere Longwear Powder Eyeshadow in 16 Blue Jean, R575
4) Chanel Ombre Premiere Longwear Powder Eyeshadow in 36 Desert Rouge, R575
5) Elizabeth Arden Statement Brow Gel in Deep Brown, R285
6) Sensai Cellular Performance Cream Foundation in 22 Natural Beige, R1,155
7) Dolce & Gabbana Passion eyes Mascara in 1 Nero, R590