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  • Chanel
Exhibtion `The Little Black Jacket`

    `The Little Black Jacket`

    25 May 2012

    by Sophia Czerny


    “I’m against fashion that’s ephemeral. I can’t accept someone throwing away clothes simply because it’s spring.“ – Coco Chanel,
    † 1. 10. 1971

    Was Coco Chanel aware back in the 1950s what a work of art she had created? A tweed jacket, that, even more than 50 years later, is still indispensable to the world of  fashion? Hardly! No doubt she was equally unaware that, because of her, the „little black jacket“ would become an essential piece of clothing to countless women all over the world. Coco Chanel knew how to give basic components the necessary finesse, and thereby created timeless fashions that can be combined with just about anything.

    What Coco would have expected even less is the reverence with which Karl Lagerfeld regards the tweed jacket. As the label’s chief designer, he has dedicated a spectacular photo series to it that he himself shot. Since 1983, when Lagerfeld signed on at Chanel, the jacket has been his daily companion. „The jacket is so casual and timeless, and became a symbol of this utterly special elegance,“ declares Karl the Great.  Lagerfeld has applied his personal touch to the classic on several occasions, usually sticking to Chanel’s popular black. He captures the versatility of the jacket in his book „the little black jacket,“ which will be published in the fall by Steidl-Verlag.  For a stylist he hired no less than Carine Roitfeld, the woman who has revolutionized style and taste from the 80s to the present day. And therefore the entire world of fashion and advertising. For her as well the jacket holds a special significance: „The jacket’s such a great yet simple piece of clothing. You can wear it with jeans just as easily as with an evening dress. It goes with everything. Like a jean jacket, but really elegant.“

    Together they got over 100 celebrities in front of the camera to embody „the little black jacket“ in their own unique and personal way

     Among the stars are Yoko Ono, Kirsten Dunst, Vanessa Paradis, and Anna Wintour, but there are men as well, such as Lagerfeld‘s muse Baptiste Giabiconi and Kanye West. The „all-time classic“ received special stagings by Sarah Jessica Parker, who wore the jacket as a hair ornament; Claudia Schiffer, who pulls off a servant-girl look in it that blows you away, and Georgia May Jagger, who wears only a sexy bra beneath the jacket.

     The black-and-white portraits will also tour eight countries as „the little black jacket exhibition.“ First stop is in Tokyo during Fashion Week in April. On June 8, the exhibition will be on view in New York at 18 Wooster Street. And it comes to London in the fall. Anyone who can’t get around to seeing “the little black jacket,” can view the exhibition online.

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