Russia played an important role in the work of Mademoiselle Chanel.
She got acquainted with Russian art at the very beginning of the 20th century, before a significant part of the Russian intelligentsia emigrated to Paris after the 1917 revolution.
The famous “Russian Seasons” brought by Sergei Diaghilev made a real sensation in Europe. Russian ballets and theatrical performances made it possible to plunge into the mysterious and unknown culture of distant and cold Russia.
Gabrielle Chanel, as a person of art, was fascinated by the new culture with which she had a chance to get to know. She was close friends with the Russian intelligentsia. She watched how Russian dancers delighted the Parisian audience, showing all the beauty, sophistication and soulfulness of Russia.
Gabrielle was friends with Sergei Diaghilev, they were very similar – they were equally passionate about their work.
In 1922, the first “Russian” collection of Coco Chanel was born
The collection reflects Russian folk motives. The Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna was directly involved in the creation of this collection. She, along with her brother, Grand Duke Dmitry, emigrated to Paris, where they met Gabrielle Chanel. Coco Chanel had a romantic relationship with Grand Duke Dmitry (cousin of Nicholas II) and after this romance she created the CUIR DE RUSSIE fragrance.
Coco Chanel tried to help talented people who found themselves in a difficult situation in emigration. She was friends with Igor Stravinsky and provided him and his family with her country house in order to somehow make his life easier and not let his creativity fade away.
Friendship with the Russian intelligentsia and acquaintance with the rich culture of the northern country, formed into an unusually rich and colorful Russian Chanel collection. In it we see festive elements of traditional, folk costumes and imperial luxury, sincere and fabulous motives of Russia.
The Russian collection can be conditionally divided into two parts:
- one part is permeated with folklore motives and reminds us of a traditional Russian costume;
- the second part is the imperial style, in which we see elements of the imperial regalia.
The inspiration for the creation of the Le Paris Russe de Chanel collection, according to the creative director of Chanel, was the life and work of Mademoiselle Chanel, and we can see what impression the culture of a distant northern country had on her at one time.