The Gabrielle : Chanel’s Latest Bag

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Chic and rebelliousness: Coco was never able to pick one. A paradoxical woman, a woman of taste, a business woman, she led her life the way she wanted to without ever forgetting to love. Guided by instinct rather than reason, Chanel burned with passion, animated by a breed of disobedience as charming as it was powerful. “I chose what I wanted to be and that’s what I am,” she liked to affirm. Her disobedience turned into creation. Immune to the dogmas and codes of her era, Gabrielle discarded whatever she wasn’t fond of in order to make way for something timeless. This is what the double-C label means: chic with an inspired stripped-down approach, making way for liberty. Despite hearsay, it’s difficult to entirely capture Coco’s personality. Who was Gabrielle? Discreet and mysterious, the very definition of the Parisian woman, now new facets of her personality are being explored by this piece from Karl Lagerfeld.

With the Gabrielle bag, the brand’s creative director is renewing the distinctive codes of Chanel to perpetuate the spirit of one of the freest women of her day. “Everyone called her Coco, but her real name was Gabrielle. It’s the perfect name for a bag that reuses all of Chanel’s codes,” declared Karl Lagerfeld. Introduced during the Ready-To-Wear Spring/Summer 2017 runway, the piece is composed like a mischievous nod to the powerful combinations imagined by Chanel last century that are reused with a futuristic theme from Karl Lagerfeld. He took inspiration from the shape of virtual reality glasses, but also from the binoculars cases that men wore with a strap on horse race tracks to imagine the rigid base for the Gabrielle by Chanel. The piece is imagined to espouse the silhouette and follow the body’s movements, just like all of this brand’s creations. With its adjustable strap, Chanel is reuniting with Coco’s original ambition: disencumbering women! Made in either black or white aged veal leather or in two-tone black/white, navy blue/black and the classic beige/black as well as in a fuchsia tweed, pastel yellow velours veal leather, or luxury alligator skin version, the Gabrielle by Chanel is also available in a Hobo format with three sizes: small, medium, and large.

The release of a piece like this is no doubt the occasion for a special collaboration with the brand’s muses. Karl Lagerfeld chose Kristen Stewart, Caroline de Maigret, Pharrell Williams, and Cara Delevingne to incarnate the bag’s power and inspiration. The new ad campaign shot by Karl Lagerfeld is accompanied by four short films directed by Daniel Askill or Olivier Assayas. Over a number of weeks, these Chanel ambassadors were able to romanticize the collection’s newest gem. In the first short film, Kristen Stewart is inhabited by the soul of Gabrielle. “The story behind the film is a quest for Gabrielle’s spirit and the difficulty of accepting the idea of someone who’s gone,” the actress explains in a making-of clip. “The film has a supernatural side but is also full of energy. I was drawn to her name, Gabrielle, etched on the window, kind of like she was calling out to me. This is sort of the first message that Gabrielle sent to me, and it filled me with joy.” After Kristen Stewart, it was Pharrell Williams and Caroline de Maigret’s turn to incarnate in their own mini-films a different side of the Chanel universe, from the musician to the Parisian. Finally, Cara Delevingne’s film was presented as a short animation. On April 6, an exclusive dinner was organized at the restaurant Giorgio Baldi in Santa Monica to present these new iconic pieces in the company of Kenya Kinski-Jones, Dree Hemingway, and Naomi Scott.

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