Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Colors of Chanel's Transcribe

Chapter 11
The Colors of Chanel's Transcribe

“ Black, White, Beige, Gold, Red. 
Black, because it accentuates the essential and recalls the monastic rigor of the uniforms at the Aubazine orphanage. Because for Gabrielle Chanel, “it reveals a woman’s radiance.” Thanks to Chanel, black evolved from the garments of servants and those in mourning to become, since 1926, the color of elegance, epitomized by the little black dress. “I imposed black. It reigns still, because black trumps all,” Mademoiselle declared. 
White, because in the beginin there was white. Because it captures light, illuminates the face, enhances beauty. Because it is the color of absolute transparency and transcendence. White, because it remainds Coco the cornettes of the nuns from her childhood and the communion dress given to her by her father. 
Beige, because it is warm, simple and natural. Because it is the color of the worn earth of Mademoiselle’s native Auvergne and  of the beaches of Deauville, Biarritz and Venetian Lido. Because it is for her the colour of the outdoors, of a natural complexion, and the healthy glow of skin kissed by the sun. 
Gold, because it embraces both the genuine and the faux: the fenuine gold given to Gabrielle by The Duke of Westminster, the imitation gold of the costume jewelry that she endlessly invented. Gold, because of the religious relics and the cleric’s brocade robes that ornamented her childhood. Gold because of the treasures from Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, the Byzantine Empire and the Baroque art that always inspired her. 
Red, because “it is the color of life, of blood”, as Gabrielle Chanel said. Red because it pemirts, when used as the lining of a purse, a quick find of what one is looking for. Red because, worn on the lips, it became Gabrielle’s signature and her declaration of good spirit. “If you’re sad, add more lipstick and attack. Men hate women who weep,” Mademoiselle asserted. 
Black, because it creates depth among other colors, because it stands out against a white label, shines in the makeup cases’ luxurious lacquer, lines eyelids and enhances lashes.  
White, because it illuminates Coco’s strands of pearls, her camellias and the bouquets of flowers that surround her with perpetual Spring. White like her timeless silk pajamas, like the dress that she wore to Diaghilev’s funeral, white like satin, like chiffon and, offset with black braids, the white tweed of the Chanel suit.
Beige, because, against the sacred union of black and white, it offers a counterpoint, an element of neutrality and heightened elegance. Beige because, with Chanel makeup, it revives the skin. 
Gold, because it shines within the No5 bottle, because it adorns the chain of the quilted bag and the bottoms of suits. Gold because it is the triumph of Chanel.
Red because it is the colour of passion, of courage, of fire and of energy. 
Finally Black and white together, because one cannot exist without the other, because they are absolutely pure and in perfect accord. Because they are the stroke of Karl Lagerfeld’s pen. Because they are the signature of Chanel. 

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