Haute Coco

January 29, 2006 • Magazine

Haute Coco

Haute Coco

Mon, 2006-01-30 01:00

Joanne Molino

Maybe it’s the inevitable, momentary ennui of the postmodern fashion era, but in an era that suffers from the 15-minute fame syndrome, it might behold even the savviest fashionista to take a walk down runways past to see how the “newâ€? is never quiet as new as we think. Currently associated with the smile of the latest screen sirens, Nicole Kidman and Vanessa Paradis, it has also been the center of controversy. As we speak, bloggers are still gawking about the Chanel dress scandal involving two of Hollywood’s youngest sirens: Reese and Kirsten.

Why all the fuss?

Part myth, part reality, Gabrielle Chanel (a.k.a. Coco) was muse to the early twentieth century. With everyone from Picasso to G.B. Shaw praising her unique style, she used her power to launch a revolution in style. Earning her namesake from an unforgettable 1905 performance of “Qui qu’a vu coco dans le Tracaderoâ€? at La Rotunde, her persona is what really created the Chanel aura. As costume designer for avant-garde troupes in Paris, she was inspired by the theatrical as well as by the modern, clean and transitional style of menswear. She even raided the wardrobe of the Duke of Westminster, which prompted her cuff-linked white shirts, sailor sweaters, soft-belted coats and tweeds.

Don’t want to end up pulling a Reese? Forget grandma’s closet and check out Lagerfeld’s 2006 couture collection for Chanel.

A walk down the runway…
1. From the Metropolitan Musuem of Art, Gabrielle Chanel Evening dress, Ca. 1937
2. Jackie O. in a red Chanel suit
3. Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld, Prêt-à-porter, Spring/Summer 1994
4. Paris, Fall 2001
5. Lagerfeld’s Spring couture collection 2006
6. Kirsten Dunst in 2003 Chanel dress
7. Reese Witherspoon in what she was told was “vintage�


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