I'm not sure when my fascination with Chanel jackets developed but as long as I can remember, it's an item that I vowed to one day put in my closet.
Several years ago I had the distinct pleasure of being invited to Palm Springs to observe Claire Shaeffer's class, Chanel and That Suit. This is a very high end hands on class. For five days a select group of students learn about Coco Chanel, her life and contributions to fashion, examine Chanel designs from Claire's personal collection as well as slides from private and museum collections, learn to select and adapt patterns and choose fabrics, and learn the techniques that make Chanel, well Chanel! Decorative trims, the three piece sleeve, unusual and contrast linings, unique hand buttonholes, chain weights and quilting. You work on a half scale model of a jacket but focus on techniques so you can go back home and spend the next weeks (months?) creating your own. I was inspired and loved looking through her collection. She is a wealth of knowledge and a wonderful woman.
I was so pleased to recently learn that she has published a CD-based album exploring her wonderful collection of Chanel garments, inside and out. Here is a quote from her blog about it:
"I doubt there's ever been such an extensive collection of full-garment and close-up, full-color photos—over 600 images—detailing the work and influence of a single designer, so readily available; all thanks to the wonders of the pdf format. It's been quite a mammoth task, shooting, editing pix and commentary, designing, building, proofing, testing… But it's finally done!"
"If you've ever wondered what all the fuss was about regarding couture garment-making, prepare to be amazed at the astonishing skills and efforts that emerged from the Chanel workrooms. Each pdf page is 11x17 inches at 100%, so the slides can be zoomed in on for great detail. The couture blouses are particularly spectacular!"
I just ordered my copy and I can't wait to receive it. In the meantime, Decades Two in Beverly Hills is having their one day a year Chanel consignment sale. I think I'll have to check it out..........