Discover CHANEL: Breakfast at CHANEL, Brasserie Gabrielle, and Back to THE Apartment

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*If you are catching up, you can read the first Discover CHANEL installment here

Every season, despite dozens of fashion presentations happening from New York to Tokyo, CHANEL runway show remains one of the most highly-anticipated collections and shows to see. Not only to check out the next masterful/curious/intriguing collection, but also to admire the setting that Karl Lagerfeld and his team dream up season after season (icebergs, demonstrations, supermarkets, oh my!). What I’m trying to say is…CHANEL shows are never ever boring, which is why I was so excited to finally be able to attend one in person.

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Arriving at the Grand Palais early in my “something borrowed” CHANEL outfit, I saw street style photographers milling about, stylish (and not-so-stylish) peacocks walking back and forth, hoping to catch photogs’ eyes, security vans patrolling the perimeter, people handing out promotional breakfast packs to the hungry attendees (Macarons for breakfast? Don’t mind if I do!). Sensory overload, even before I set foot inside the grand venue.

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As part of the Discover CHANEL program, my fellow bloggers and I got to go inside at the same time as the photographers, and before anyone else, so that we could check out the interior as it was intended. Welcoming us into the Brasserie Gabrielle, were impeccably-dressed “waiters”, and as I stepped into Coco Chanel-inspired French brasserie set at the Grand Palais, my jaw practically dropped to the floor – it was overwhelming. Attention to detail was immaculate – Parisian bar stands stocked with all of the usual breakfast accouterments from boiled eggs to Viennoiserie, fully-functioning coffee machines, where I totally ordered a cuppa since I didn’t have time for one before the show, reserved tables for the VIPs (of course, the first thing I did was find Anna Wintour’s table), mosaic-tiled floors…it was all perfect!

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I resisted going to my assigned seat, hanging out around the bar area to people-watch, as one would at an actual brasserie. I spotted Grace Coddington’s red mane, Patrick Demarchelier settling into his booth, Giovanna Battaglia talking to friends excitedly, Carine Roitfeld posing for photographers, Hamish Bowles snapping photos of the bar with his cell phone, I even saw Karl Lagerfeld surrounded by a sea of black suits before the show.

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I also snuck a photo of Anna Wintour mid-interview, hiding behind her signature shades; I felt like a naughty child or a stalker, but if Anna minded, her face didn’t show it. Before I knew it, the ushers were gently, yet firmly asking us to take our seats, and so I did, ready for the main event.

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I found my seat just in time, as models began walking through the revolving doors, entering the brasserie, but after doing the obligatory runway walk around the room, some models would settle in at the bar to grab some OJ, while others would pile into the comfy booths for a chat or a selfie session. It felt fresh and unexpected to see models laugh together, order food, and basically show off the collection in action. As the show came to an end, models did not leave their various perches, but stayed behind for a sort of an installation presentation, where attendees could grab photos of the models up-close, as well as sit down next to them for a minute of make-believe – breakfast with supermodels at Brasserie Gabrielle, anyone?

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As for the collection itself, this was one of my favourite CHANEL collections in a while. Dubbed the “French Collection”, it had all the staples that are expected from CHANEL – emblematic tweed, exquisite little black dresses, to-die-for bags, spectacular coats, but in line with the setting, there were also cheeky plate minaudieres, fork and spoon bags, pencil skirts in a fabric reminiscent of those brasserie mosaic floors, bomber jackets adorned with bows, skirts that looked like they were made out of folded white napkins (surprisingly cool!). While some pieces were very tongue-in-cheek, others were simply chic. Even the kookiest of pieces were still wearable and covetable, and very much in line with the spirit of CHANEL.

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Being able to see many of those pieces up close after the show was a pleasant (and a very welcome) surprise. While Karl jumped behind the bar to serve orange juice and answer questions, many of the attendees (myself included) jumped at the chance to snap close-ups of the stunning collection, admiring both the models and the clothes in front of us. Most of the photos in this post were snapped by me, so you can probably see just how close we got to the models and to the sublime clothes.

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After the show, our chic crew piled into a van to be whisked away to Coco Chanel’s rue Cambon apartment. Having visited the apartment in the past, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be able to go there for the second time! You can read my post about the first visit here. Once again, I could almost feel Coco Chanel’s spirit in the lavish surroundings. The place felt more familiar the second time around, but the visit was just as special as the first time. This time, I took some videos of the apartment, which I’ll be sharing in the original post soon.

Giddy from our visit, the bloggers and I headed back to rue Cambon to do some shopping after lunch, excited for next day’s visit to the CHANEL handbag factory! (to be continued)

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More photos after the jump!
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3 Bags and 3 Muses in CHANEL’s Latest Ad Campaign

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If you’ve been waiting for that promised ad campaign, featuring Kristen Stewart, Vanessa Paradis, and Alice Dellal, your patience has finally been rewarded, because CHANEL released these images of the new (and not so new) CHANEL handbag muses, wearing three iconic bags from the brand. Shot by Karl Lagerfeld, these images feature some of the coolest it-girls around, and I have to say that I’m obsessed with Vanessa’s photo, especially since she’s not a twenty-something ingenue. I love that Karl continues to work with her, and that she continues to be the face of CHANEL many years later.

The idea behind the campaign was to feature each woman with a CHANEL bag that best embodies her – Vanessa with the Girl, Alice with the Boy, and Kristen with the 11.12. As a huge fan of the brand, I do find all three bags dreamy, but if I had to choose one, it would be the Boy. Besides the romantic story behind the name of the bag, I love how easy that bag is…how it can be dressed up or down, with a comfy strap that can be worn cross-body, or on the shoulder…CHANEL Boy Bag is definitely a fave of mine.

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If you were curious about what the three muses had to say about their bag choices, here’s a little insight into their faves!

Dellal on the Boy: “Since discovering the Boy, I have found it a permanent fixture in my wardrobe. It’s a ‘fuss-free’ bag; it is very modern! The Boy bag was my first job with Chanel, it was the beginning of a unique journey.”
Kristen Stewart on 11.12: “For me, the iconic handbag (the 11.12) is just like the house of Chanel, fundamental and modern, two qualities not usually shared.”
Vanessa Paradis on the Girl: “I like the fact that it blends in with clothes or against the skin with infinite gentleness.”

And there you have it…three CHANEL muses, with three stunning CHANEL handbags. Which one is your fave? Share in the comments.

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More photos after the jump!
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CHANEL Couture Spring 2015 Collection

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Karl has done it yet again! Another stunning couture collection for CHANEL, complete with a magical garden set, full of mechanical flowers that bloomed as the show began. Flowers – a huge theme for CHANEL Couture Spring 2015, were not only blooming on the runway, but on gowns, luxe beanies, and bags. Speaking of those couture toques…how cool were those?! They probably cost more than my entire wardrobe, but imagine wearing one of those during our harsh Canadian winters? Instant mood lift!

Surprisingly, there wasn’t much to see in terms of the shoes…flat black boots were worn by all models, which paired with those wide-brim, chiffon covered hats and veils had me reminiscing about Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice, 90’s silhouettes in full force.

And of course, those gowns. Thousands of sequins, plastic flowers, and beads – all attached by hand – hours upon hours of work all culminating in these couture gowns. Exquisite, artful, and fun. I felt like a few of those were specifically made to accommodate Keira Knightley’s pregnancy, so don’t be surprised if you see the actress wearing one of these stunners on the Oscars red carpet.

What did you think of CHANEL Couture Spring 2015 collection? Are you into Karl’s floral fantasy? Share in the comments!

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More after the jump!
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Holidays 2014: Gift Guide

For some reason, this year, I am woefully unprepared for winter’s arrival, but since it’s practically end of November and there’s snow on the ground, I guess it’s time to snap out of my denial and start shopping. Full disclosure: I have yet to buy any presents, but I do have some ideas as to what I’ll be picking up for my loved ones this holiday season. And just in case you’re in the same boat, I thought I’d share some of my fave holiday gift ideas with you.

I glimpsed most of these back in July, during the annual holiday previews, and I have to say that this year in particular, those previews came in super handy. I got to learn about the existence of cool adult onesies, played with the Big Love Ball, and tried on the gorgeous Thomas Sabo infinity ring; I self-medicated with the all-natural Saje Pocket Pharmacy, and sipped on Inniskillin sparkling icewine. In short, I got to preview and test out a lot of the picks below, and I hope that this gift guide gives you some ideas for your holiday shopping this season. If you’re looking for stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, and presents for him, her, and the kids, then this is a great place to start! Happy Shopping!

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1. Bombki Russian Christmas Ornaments (Net-A-Porter)
2. FLOWER Beauty Powder Brush (Wal-Mart)
3. TOMS for Target Candle (Target)
4. Falconwright Coin Purse (Falconwright)
5. Drake General Store Mountie Thermos (The Bay)
6. kate spade new york iPhone 5 Lucky Cat Case (Holt Renfrew)
7. Saje Pocket Pharmacy (Saje)
8. Big Love Ball 
9. Gap Calf Hair Tech Gloves (Gap)

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1. The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Doll (The Body Shop)
2. Shupette My Precious Glitter Set (Holt Renfrew)
3. Tiffany T Square Bracelet (Tiffany and Co)
4. Jenny Bird RiRi Collar Tri-tone (Jenny Bird)
5. Balenciaga Florabotanica Rollerball (Sephora)
6. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham (Indigo)
7. CHANEL Patchwork Shearling Bag (CHANEL)
8. ALDO FAHLSTROM Boots (ALDO)
9. Moschino iPhone 5 Case (Net-A-Porter)
10. Thomas Sabo Glam & Soul Ring (Thomas Sabo)
11. NARS Modern Future Roman Holiday Gift Set (Holt Renfrew)

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1. H&M Oh Deer! Sweater (H&M)
2. ALDO Wallie Shoes (ALDO)
3. 
Yo Sox Burger King Socks (The Bay)
4. KRUPS Barista Espresso/Coffee Machine (The Bay)
5. Samsung Gear 2 Smart Watch (Best Buy)
6. Grey Goose VX (LCBO)
7. Jack Black Cobalt Brush (Holt Renfrew)
8. Drake General Store Arborist Mountie Adult Onesie (The Bay)

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1. Indigo Expressions Pillow (Indigo)
2. Oster French Bull Toaster (Target)
3. Louis Vuitton Fashion Photography (Indigo)
4. Holiday Ribbon Dessert Plates (Indigo)
5. Inniskillin Vidal Sparkling Icewine (LCBO)
6. Byredo Parfums Loose Lips Candle (Holt Renfrew)
7. Nadege Pastries (Nadege)
8. David’s Tea for the Tree (David’s Tea)
9. HBC Collection Cuppa Teapot (The Bay)

 

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1. HBC’s Priscilla the Fox (The Bay)
2. Melissa and Doug Felt Food Taco and Burrito Set (SHOP.CA)
3. Tuck Shop Neighbourhood Toques (Mini Mioche)
4. Sugarbooger Doll Teether Set (Mini Mioche)
5. H&M Sweatshirt with Print (H&M)
6. GummyGoods Nightlight (Mini Mioche)
7. Ele and Ela Bib (Etsy)
8. Seedling DIY Snow Globe Kit (Indigo)
9. Uncle Goose Russian ABC Blocks (Uncle Goose)

What They Wore: Chanel No. 5 “The One That I Want” Party

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Speaking of amazing parties…What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall at this CHANEL bash! Earlier this week, the brand celebrated the release of the latest CHANEL No 5 “The One That I Want” ad campaign, shot by Baz Luhrmann, and starring Gisele Bundchen. And while the short film is definitely mesmerizing, this time, I couldn’t take my eyes off the stylish attendees instead. Just look at Crystal Renn! That gown! That hair! That makeup! So damn beautiful! And Poppy Delevingne! I’m in love with her kaleidoscopic dress and bright clutch. Granted, I’m not as obsessed with Poppy as I am with Crystal, but finally seeing pieces from the CHANEL Dubai Cruise 2015 collection outside of the context of a fashion show is definitely making my heart beat faster. Here’s hoping more celebs will wear these stunners to red carpet premieres and such – SO much potential here.

As for the belle of the ball – Gisele – well, she looked beautiful, of course, as she always does, but my heart belongs to Crystal Renn and her starry gown, and her fierce eyebrows, and her flawless face. Dear Karl, I nominate Crystal for the next CHANEL campaign. Please and thank you.

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More photos and campaign video after the jump!

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Chanel Haute Couture Fall 2014 Collection

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I am so excited about Paris Haute Couture fashion week, you guys! If, like me, you’ve been missing the excitement and drama in fashion lately, now’s the perfect time to feast your eyes on the hautest gowns of the upcoming season. And while some couture shows left me bored to tears (or nearly), thank goodness for CHANEL, and of course, Karl Lagerfeld. Love him or hate him, the man’s got imagination.

CHANEL Haute Couture Fall 2014 show featured a variety of surprising elements, including what looked like fancy flip flops worn with exquisite gowns, a pregnant model closing the show (apparently Karl loves the pregnant ladies, who would’ve thought?!), messy feathery up-dos topped with Maison Michel’s tiny hats, and a Kardashian strutting her stuff on the runway. *I wonder if Kim’s jealous of Kendall’s fiery rise to the top? I mean, walking in a CHANEL show and having Karl’s approval has got to be more meaningful than scoring half of that VOGUE cover, amiright?

But no matter, despite the pared down setting (no supermarkets or icebergs at this show), the clothes spoke for themselves. Karl’s modern vision, infused with baroque touches and youthful styling, resulted in a dazzling, but still wearable couture collection. One that I am certain we’ll soon see on various red carpets (most likely on Keira Knightley, Diane Kruger, and the like), and I honestly can’t wait! I especially want someone to wear that poofy feathery blue confection…I think with softer hair, it can look both cool and ethereal…also, I am kind of obsessed with it.

But tell me, what do you think of CHANEL Haute Couture Fall 2014 collection? Are you as obsessed as me? Share in the comments.

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More photos after the jump!

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Paris Fashion Week: Chanel Grocery Store Chic Fall 2014

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Leave it to Karl to transform the magnificent Grand Palais into something so seemingly ordinary as a grocery store for a fashion show. But when all of the groceries, shopping carts and baskets bear the iconic CHANEL logo, the “store” and the fashion show become anything but ordinary. As someone who’s fairly obsessed with all things whimsical and kitsch, I would’ve been all over those CHANEL-branded goodies. After the show, the lucky attendees were allowed to loot peruse the quirky “store” offerings, and the luckiest ones walked away with CHANEL Spaghetti, door mats, rubber gloves, Tweed Cola, and lots more. Best grocery store ever?!

The Fall 2014 collection itself was appropriately fun, what with “Lait de Coco” bags, colourful outerwear, tweed sunglasses, and pop-art faux (?) fur bags – all of it covetable, but definitely not for those that prefer their fashion nice and serious. The people that would be most into this collection are the ones that can appreciate a bit of humour in their daily dressing…so needless to say, I was really INTO.IT!

So what do you think about Karl Lagerfeld’s latest collection? Would you like a tall glass of “Lait de Coco” in your life? Share in the comments!

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More after the jump!

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Swarovski Fall 2010 Preview with Avril Graham

I blog for fun. Not for money, or free stuff, or for any other reason but one: I really do enjoy reading and writing about all things stylish, fashionable, and intriguing (to me). Plus, it provides a much needed mental getaway from my daily not-so-glam 9-5 grind. But if there’s one perk of fashion blogging that I particularly enjoy – it’s meeting cool people. Last week, huge thanks to Edelman, Al and I got to meet the gorgeous and friendly (interesting AND interested) Avril Graham – executive fashion and beauty editor for Harper’s Bazaar magazine. And if chatting with an editor of a hugely successful fashion magazine wasn’t enough,  we also got a sneak peek at Swarovski’s Fall/Winter 2010/2011 collection showcased at the Hazelton Hotel in Yorkville.

With the help of some models, Avril walked us through her favorite pieces from the collection, stressing that women should not buy cheap accessories to accessorize an expensive dress, but should opt for affordable, yet well-made alternatives instead. Perhaps, some Swarovski heirlooms? Indeed, I was quite impressed with more than a few pieces showcased: cocktail rings, dangly earrings, crystal-adorned bracelets, and clutches.  Avril, herself, wore a beautiful rainbow crystal Swarovski necklace with her Valentino LBD. The one item that had us all talking was the Karl Lagerfeld designed Atelier cuff (below). The unanimous opinion was “LOVE”…though I must admit, I did have trouble squeezing my not-so-skinny wrist into it, but it was all worth it!

Overall, as with the Atelier launch, I was impressed by the variety of looks, and with Avril’s endorsement of the brand, as well as with Karl’s pieces available for sale in the fall – there’s no better time to check out Swarovski jewelry collection.

Love, Pétanque and Saint-Tropez

Ok, so I know you might want to break up with me after this post…but I will ask you to reconsider, because though my Diane/Joshua coverage has been excessive, I simply cannot help it. It’s not just that they are sickeningly cute as a couple…what with the stylish yet matchy clothes, lots of PDA, and happily dancing the night away at a Chanel event with some wine in hand after winning a game of pétanque…but they are also so very watchable. Don’t you agree? I hope you agree, because these pictures made me smile today on this gloomy Toronto Tuesday…it made me happy for the two of them, because they seem real, and happy, and in love…and they do represent that young but not too young type of love, where you can’t stop smiling because the person you love is right there beside you, even if just to cheer you on during a silly game, or to share an ice-cream cone with, or to…just be.

I guess, theirs is a publicized love…with photographers usually following their paths most of the time, but it doesn’t feel staged like some couples…cough*Speidi*cough…Josh and Diane do not induce those wishes of painful self-gouging of eyes or nausea…I simply enjoy seeing photos of them, and imagining that they are truly and beautifully in love. And that is why I will continue posting photos of the happy couple…and hope that you might love them as well.

PS. Vanessa Paradis, too, attended Karl Lagerfeld’s celeb game of pétanque, among the many other fashion notables. And I do…oh-so love her too! Obsessed and infatuated.

PPS. Oh, and I sorta kinda get the basket now…where else if not to a Chanel event, right?

Photo Credits: www.laineygossip.com, www.zimbio.com

Vanessa Paradis for Chanel Cocoon Spring 2010


I must say, I really disliked the Lily Allen Cocoon ads last year…to style that girl as Audrey Hepburn’s most iconic character – that, to me, was blasphemous. There’s nothing Chanel or Audrey about Lilly.

Vanessa Paradis, however, is no Lilly Allen. She “screams” Chanel to me…that French je ne sais quoi that Parisian girls quite simply own – she’s definitely got it. Most people know her as Johnny Depp’s beautiful partner (in crime?), but to me, she’ll always be the “Joe le Taxi” girl! Her chic style has always been a huge inspiration to many, myself included. And I am very pleased with Karl’s choice this time around.

Love the softness of these images and the glint of naughty in her eyes in the top photo! So tell me, do you like the bags? Vanessa? Let me know in the comments!

Oh, and click here to watch my fave video of Vanessa, talking about falling in love with Johnny…le sigh.







Photo Credits: TFS