Monday, 25 April 2011
Chanel And The Lion.
Born a Leo on the 19th August, Gabrielle Chanel surrounded herself with models of lions in wood, silver, bronze or alabaster for her apartment at 31 rue Cambon. The lion became a timeless biographical seal on numerous of her creations, 'August 19th is my birthday. I was born under the sign of Leo. I am Leo and, like a lion I use my claws to prevent people from doing me harm, but, believe me, I suffer more from scratching than from being scratched.'
The lion is also the symbol of the city Venice, most notably the lion at Saint Mark's Square, the protective emblem of Doge's Palace. Coco Chanel fell in love with the city when she went for the first time, a voyage made in attempt to ease the pain of the sudden death of her lover, Boy Chapel, in December 1919.
The infamous lion was then featured at the Coco Chanel couture show in Paris where we was witness to fashion, art and sculpture colliding in the making of the magnificent gold Lion statue measuring 18 metres high on a podium protectively clutching a giant iridescent pearl under his front paw and like a scene from a surrealist dream, a door opens and models magically appear from within the pearl. The design was inspired by a dream fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld had about the late Coco Chanel's miniature lion sculpture. Karl immediately dispatched his lead set designer Stefan Lubria to make the colossus as the centre piece of the Chanel Fall-Winter 2010/11 Haute Couture line.
The mere presence of a lion is that of great strength and power feared as a creature due to these characteristics, the irony being portrayed through modern versions of Blandina released from the lion's den, their beauty will overpower the beast; their wild allure will tame it, this terrifying lion was as meek and gentle as a lamb.
Coco Chanel loved lions and they surfaced everywhere from her apartment decor, buttons and even her gravestone, the lion inspired many of her creations and lion heads were commonly found embossed on the buttons of the iconic tweed suits. Karl Lagerfeld an ingenious designer and it is evident that he truly respects and understands the woman Coco Chanel was, he stays true to what inspired her and gives it a modern twist, with the added advantage of being one of the few people in the world who has access to her apartments and archives.
The Chanel Spring Summer 2011 pre-collection pays tribute to all of the above, the lion being among the main source of reference for the costume jewellery collection. A contribution of fringes, pearls, delicate chains and embellished lions and of course the infamous two c's come together to form a truely iconic representation of what Chanel stood for in a more modern sense. The extravagant lion head ring with a pearl in its mouth as well as the resin bangles create something which each individually stand out magnificently.
Posted by Callahan Brooks at 12:24