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Chanel's ice-cream colors and celluloid dreams

May 13, 2011 |  7:30 am


In the course of researching a recent article about luxury brands living on after their namesake designers, I started thinking about what designs live on too. One of the most timeless Chanel pieces is the 2.55 handbag, which was introduced by Coco Chanel in February 1955.

Since taking over at Chanel in 1983, Karl Lagerfeld's genius has been a constant reinvention of the house's signature designs for a new generation. The man does not let grass grow under his feet!  

There have been thousands of variations on the 2.55 in the last 50-plus years, but this multicolored tweed version is my current obsession. I love how it touches on spring's bright color trend without going overboard. The tangerine leather woven through the chain handle is fun too.

It looks like color will be strong going forward into next year, but think monochrome dressing rather than the color-clashing that's so popular now for spring. Chanel's 2011-2012 Cruise collection, shown Monday on the French Riviera, features updated versions of the lady suit in lemon-yellow and boysenberry-ice-cream shades.


To coincide with the collection presentation, Lagerfeld released a new film, titled "The Tale of The Fairy," which he wrote and directed. The short is "Grey Gardens" gone glam. It follows the exploits of two bickering sisters (Kristen McMenamy and Anna Mouglalis) who share a glorious estate on the French Riviera, as they drink champagne, flirt with men (and fairies), hit the roulette wheel and change in and out of a dazzling array of Chanel clothes.

Clocking in at 30 minutes, "The Tale of the Fairy" is Lagerfeld's most ambitious film project to date. Tom Ford better watch his back!

-- Booth Moore

Upper photo: Chanel bag, $2,800. Credit: Chanel

Lower photo: Runway looks from the 2011-2012 Chanel Cruise collection show at the Cap d'Antibes on the French Riviera on Monday. Credit: Vincent Kessler / Reuters