Books, Fashion June 14, 2010 By Roxanne Fequiere
Chanel's Russian Connection by Karl Lagerfeld published by Steidl / (Click images to enlarge)

Photography courtesy of Steidl Books

chanelmoscou title Chanels Russian ConnectionDespite its perennial reign at the pinnacle of French fashion, the storied house of Chanel has never shied away from venturing beyond its Gallic boundaries for inspiration. During Coco Chanel’s lifetime, her growing wealth and social status allowed her to flit around the globe, immersing herself in myriad aspects of foreign culture later to be distilled in future collections. Mademoiselle’s affinity for the Ballets Russe and the opulence of Byzantine jewelry resulted in a Russian influence that emerged in her designs. The historical link between Chanel and Russia provided the catalyst for Paris-Moscou, the house’s 2008 Métiers d’Arts collection which lies at the center of Karl Lagerfeld: Chanel’s Russian Connection, a book that was released last year by Steidl.
Conceived as a way to celebrate the specialized work of Chanel’s satellite ateliers, Métiers d’Arts collections are notably rich in detail. For Paris-Moscou, however, powerhouse head designer Karl Lagerfeld exceeded expectations, featuring a steady stream of Russian models, military-inspired menswear, glittering matryoshka doll appliqués, and towering jeweled headdresses.

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