Friday, May 15, 2009


I could not get yesterday's Chanel Cruise collection out of my head. After I had a chance to digest the images, the styling and mood of show really struck a chord with me and I decided to do a little research about Karl's inspiration.

Before the show even happened, word was already making its way around the blogosphere about what to expect. We learned from to look for something reminiscent of Peggy Guggenheim. told us to imagine a collection inspired by 1930's Venetian high society. After the images came out, it was clear to me that Karl was more inspired by the later.

All of the models came down the runway in wigs and makeup clearly inspired by Marchesa Casati, an early 20th century eccentric Italian heiress who lived in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni located on the Grand Canal in Venice, the city where the Chanel show took place. Fittingly enough, in the late 1940s the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni became home to Peggy Guggenheim, and it is now the current home of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection of early 20th century European and American art.

When you take the time to research things you begin to see that everything is really connected. Marches Casati is not new to the fashion conscious as she also served as inspiration to John Galliano's Haute Couture SS98 Christian Dior collection.

She was known for her vibrant red hair, white powdered face, kohl-lined eyes and vermilion red lips. Once you realize this, the reference is just unmistakable.

(Edita Vilkeviciute)

You have to give credit to Karl for taking a theme and running with it. Whether it's the tropical luxury of Miami beach or the Russian nights of Moscow, Karl makes his inspirations very clear. This is exactly the kind of escapism that I think we all need at the moment. We couldn't be there sitting on deck chairs at Lido beach, but we could all certainly feel the atmosphere through the models, makeup and clothes.


One last note about the degree to which everything is connected: Casati lead a very lavish lifestyle as part of Venetian high society. She eventually amassed a great deal of debt and had to auction off her personal items, and rumor has it Coco Chanel herself was a bidder in the auction.

Image Credits:,, fashionologie


Freja a.k.a Tiko said...

Hi, I am Eny again.

Nice article. I have a very special gift for U. Maybe it would be your next article about Freja

Check this file

Freja a.k.a Tiko said...

Freja in 1994 ;)

Rrose Sélavy said...

Thanks for the tip.

Callan said...

As soon as I saw this collection the Marchesa Casati came to mind! I had only recently heard of her when researching old collections by Galliano for Dior. I'm glad I wasn't wrong.

Rrose Sélavy said...

I know. Once you know about Casati you can't look at this collection without thinking about her! And the hair and makeup become so much more beautiful in context. At first I hated the hair, but now I love it. :)