Thursday, November 8, 2007

You Go, Coco


This was actually the post I meant for yesterday; the Le Lac post was to be a little something, and then this. But I got carried away. Speaking of carried away...

This layout of Coco Chanel's apartment is in the same issue of House and Garden, January of 1986. Chic and opulent, it is a stand out against the deco design craze of her day.

I love how the rooms are a symphony of the same tone. Taupe, carmel, honey. She called these earth colors. I always think I want that and end up with a house that looks like a handful of M&M's.


For someone who streamlined - revolutionized - women's dressing, she had a lot of stuff. Chanel watched her friends closely, and learned from them, but decorated her home herself. She said, "An interior is the natural projection of the soul."

The author, Edmonde Charles-Roux, quotes Chanel in the article as saying she hates women who collect things. Yet she had a number of lions in her home, an homage to her astrological sign. And a good one, I might add.



In adddition, the author notes she considered corn her luck charm and he references these book bindings. I don't want to quibble with Chanel, but as a mid west girl, this looks like wheat to me.


There are many brass objects scattered about, although Mme. Chanel reportedly hated "dust catchers." This one contains a crystal from one of her fabulous chandeliers; it fell off one evening while Givenchy was in the drawing room. He placed the crystal in the frog's mouth. It was never removed.

13 comments:

Suzy said...

Wow, I've never seen images of this apartment before, apart from the living room. Its gorgeous, but of course! Thanks for sharing.

PS it does seem to be quite full of 'stuff' - doesn't it!

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

This is one of my favourite interiors of all time. Mlle Chanel was a contradiction in terms. Her need to be moderne all the while wanting to seen as part of the haute bourgeoisie was undoubtedly the secret to her success.

pvedesign said...

Always have admired and respected CHANEL- a true Saint in my book in the World of Fashion, Style and Taste.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Suzy, I'm so glad, I was worried these might have been "done."

Style Court said...

Recently at a panel discussion covered by Grace Bonney, Simon Doonan declared that Coco Chanel had bad taste for saying things like "Elegance is refusal". According to Grace, he exaplined that she "propigated the idea of the faux-pas to put herself and French women above everyone else."

For someone who put down "dust catchers" she had quite a few pairs of opulent objects :) There's fun video coverage of the Paris apt on Chanel's site.

Be the change..... said...

I have always loved seeing pictures of Chanel's apt -so chic! However, I think it's insane that she says she didn't like dust catchers! Use your eyes! I think the essence of her chic is knowing when to stop - I mean - how chic is it to leave that crystal in the frog's mouth when your first impulse is to get out the ladder and put it back where it belongs! Timeless!

The Peak of Chic said...

One of my all-time favorite homes! Edmonde Charles-Roux wrote a wonderful biography of Chanel (I think considered to be the definitive one). Very interesting read!

Brilliant Asylum said...

Wheat...corn...I guess to a chic Parisian, all crops look the same.
: )
Love how the frog display came about.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Chanel was a contradiction indeed. And, yes, Brilliant - any tall stalky crop probably does look the same. Only the educated eye - one that has driven across Western Kansas dozens of times :) - can tell the difference.

katiedid said...

What a great pot! Thank you! I am looking forward to unearthing my boxes of magazines that have been packed away for so long waiting for their new home. You have found a treasure here!

halcyon said...

Mrs. Blandings, those are the best photos I've ever seen of Coco Chanel's apartment. The warm honeyed tones remind me of my very favorite camel cashmere throw, warm caramel tones. As you have indicated, Coco WAS a contradiction. There is a great photo taken in 1957 at Stanley Marcus Western Rodeo party for Chanel in her honor. The President of Neiman Marcus might wear jeans and cowboy regalia, but Coco wore one of her trademark tweed suits. Thanks for posting those photos.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Halcyon - so glad you enjoyed them. I've been wondering if you watched "How to Murder Your Wife?" I kept waiting for your review.

thomass said...

The story I heard on the frog is that it is a lead fragment from a fountain that was given to Chanel by a gardner or something- a throw away- BUT as was her style she liked the form and had it gilded