Nancy Buckland Kirk falls in love with Chanel all over again this Christmas

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Remember when we all swooned over The Devil Wears Prada? It looks kind of old fashioned now: the warrior editor and the ingenue, in a world with little social media and not a filter in sight. But there is one scene that remains spellbinding – the sight of Andie entering the inner sanctum wearing that Chanel blazer. It was quite an arrival, and the blazer is still something we would all love to wear a decade on.

Chanel No 5

Chanel and Christmas? How could we not link them? Of course, most of us don’t have the budget for head-to-toe designer, but bags like the inimitable 2.55 remain on every woman’s hit list of ultimate accessories. This season, I’ve already prayed for the new limited edition Chanel No. 5 fragrance in the red bottle. And now Netflix have delivered the ultimate viewing gift just in time for the festive season, in the shape of 7 Days Out.

The brainchild of Andrew Rossi, who is noted for his work in fashion film documentary, this one-off wonder is the ultimate BTS present. We get to follow Karl Lagerfeld as he creates his Spring/Summer Couture collection for Chanel, in the exact same spot where Gabrille ‘Coco’ Chanel first founded her visionary house, over a century ago. There are couture houses and then there is the Chanel Atelier. It really is matchless.

I first watched a brilliant fly-on-the-wall series about Karl Lagerfeld and the work that goes into a couture show back in the day when BBC3 and BBC4 where just finding their feet. It was quite something to see him at work, and to see the intricate and detailed processes that go into making a made-to-measure dress. The talented seamstresses in their signature white smocks made a real impression on me but it was Karl’s vision which stole the show. He has a unique talent for maintaining the mystique of couture and adding to it youthful, streetwise innovation.

Karl Lagerfeld is now eighty five. He took over Chanel in the early 1980’s and gave it a new, fresh edge. A photo of top model Talisa Soto, in British Vogue, in 1983, wearing signature Chanel monochrome in an entirely new way signalled Chanel’s re-emergence. The label now has couture,ready-to-wear and cruise collections and every year, Karl manages to take everything traditional about Chanel and give it a brand new spin. Next season’s beach inspired looks give a nod to his 1991 collection, when Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington made Chanel surfboards a must-have and sported jackets made of neoprene. Genius. This time out it’s Kaia Gerber in a one-shouldered swimsuit and Coco-Inspired high waisted jeans.

Someone asked me who the greatest designer of all time is recently. After an hour of boring them senseless, I couldn’t get my list down to just one, but Lagerfeld has to be up there. Coco invented the bluerpint, but it is Karl who has created a design legacy that remains unmatched. Where he to retire, I can’t think of a designer who could step into his shoes. That is a sign of true greatness.

This Christmas I’m hoping for that little red bottle, in my dreams a brand new 2.55, but in the run up to our favourite festive day I’ll be settling down in front of my own big screen to enter the protected world of fashion’s most noted couture house. Fashion dreams and warm mince pies? Oh, go on then….

7 Days Out comes to Netflix UK on 21st December. This article is dedicated to my favourite fan of Chanel, Miss Evelyn Taylor.

About the author: Nancy Buckland Kirk is a writer with a keen interest in fashion and beauty and a career which has spanned modelling, teaching and spreading the word about leading beauty brands. She’ll be back soon with a new GOW skincare review. 
Related feature: Why Nancy can’t get enough of Beauty Pie.

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