Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Bye Bye Baby

This is not a proper post. This is a post in memory of my little brother who died less than three weeks ago - and also presents the reason for my failure to post in the last month. I have not been in the most emotionally strong mindset and have been left feeling very vulnerable and confused. In regards to this blog, I was not quite sure what to do. I was not sure whether to stop blogging for a few months, whether to leave this or not or continue on as usual in regards to posting. In the end, I decided to continue with the posting as I did before. Why? Because, believe it or not, there was nobody more dedicated to following my blog than my little brother, Pierre Barnes. There was nobody sweeter, nobody more supportive... and I am sure he would be angry if I did otherwise than to soldier on bravely, despite the turmoil I am going through right now.

This is not to sensationalise anything, and it's because I felt he would have wanted this, and as a way to explain to you - not that I can. So, here are just a couple of photos of him, the island of Porquerolles where he died and pictures which remind me of him. Bye Bye Baby was a song I used to sing to him teasingly when we were in the car, or when I simply felt like singing. He was my unofficial photographer, my little brother and one of my best friends.

In memory of my little brother, Pierre Barnes: 2000 - 2012
- Rest in Peace

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Pink Roses on my Braces and Yellow ones in my Garden...

Greetings Earthlings! So, though it has been a while since I last did one of these, here I am with another outfit post! I am, of course, thrilled to have reached the 240 follower mark - not long until I have a quarter of a thousand! (Yes, well, bit by bit, little by little)

Latest News... from Karl Lagerfeld: He will bring his Chanel Metiers d'Art show to Edinburgh (Scotland) this year - in a Secret Location on December 4th. Characterised by its dark gothic architecture and dramatic surrounding rocky hills, the city will serve as the perfect backdrop for the designer's grand event.
What else in News? Oh yes, Augustin Teboul has won the Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize 2012 - she did on the 17th of October but I didn't have the time to inform you until now. Also, the Tim Walker Storyteller exhibition has opened at Somerset House until the 27th of January 2013 - I really, really want to go (From the 29th of November, there is also an exhibition of Valentino) Time to suggest it to my parents! In other Fashion-Related exhibitions, the Hollywood Costume exhibition at the Victoria and Albert is open until the 27th January 2013. A trip to London is completely in order methinks.

By the way, what do you all think of the November Vogue Paris cover? I honestly love it. Some people have suggested it isn't high fashion and that it is laidback and lazy, but I rather like it, even if it is a look we've seen a million times. It's a chic and easy classic. Why fix that which is not broken?

So this is my jeans and cute white blouse ensemble, paired off with my new braces. This was what I wore yesterday (Sundays I generally spend the day in a Kaftan or Loose Shirt Dress) Look at the lovely pic of me with a sandwich, taken of me when I was unaware of what was going on. You might also notice the marks on my arm - no, I am not being abused. I burnt myself a couple of weeks ago thinking that, if I was very, very quick, I could take a metal dish out of the oven at 180 without using oven gloves. Well, I put my hands in, realised the dish was hot. Though, 'Ow. This is hot.'. Brought my hands up suddenly, they hit the grill at the top of the oven... and now I have two lovely battle scars. Yes, I know, I was being an idiot. I should not be allowed anywhere near an oven.
Random Statement of the Day: I love Red Lipstick... there is nothing quite like it. Classic and Chic.

By the way, what do you people think about my hair? I was thinking of cutting it into a loose bob, something I can mess up. I could get a perm and I've thought about it - but my mother objects to me touching my hair in any way and I don't know if it would work with my hair. Also, I've heard some horror stories about the outcomes of perms...


Thank you for reading! Please Comment and do Follow! Thank you and Good bye. :)

Thursday, 18 October 2012

A Retrospective of Chanel TV Advertising

Pinned Image

Greetings to all and my posse of followers! So, having narrowly avoided dying of exhaustion, leading to a potential possible mental breakdown (Is playing with a plasma ball for ten minutes, continuously saying nothing but 'Mwahaha' in a variety of different ways then listening to 'I am the Walrus' three times in a row, while dancing Gangnam Style worrying? At all?) which I think I am now drawing away from, I return to my blog. Tomorrow, it is my Birthday, and I shall turn seventeen - cue a chorus of 'Happy Birthday' by Altered Images - and at the end of next week, I shall be off on a much-needed holiday in the South of France which may delay my being sent to the nearest Asylum by a few weeks. At the same time, I have now accepted that nothing has come of the audition which I previously mentioned, and I am moving on. :) Life doesn't end just because little things go wrong (Or don't happen, as is the case here)
So... here is my retrospective of Chanel TV advertising. These are mainly adverts for No.5, but I have a Coco Mademoiselle advertisement too and a few for men's perfumes, Chance and No.19. On the subject of the vow in my last post to write more regularly, this was sort of going to be posted on Saturday, but I was just too tired to do more than find the videos. Anyway, I hope you like the videos I've found. I know that the quality is not great in all of them, but I honestly spent ages trying to find the best quality.

A timeless classic that still is a number one seller over eighty years after its launch in 1921.
Created by Earnest Beaux, No.5 was the first perfume ever created using so much Aldehydes, which gives the fragrance its sparkle. Legend has is that Beaux presented Chanel with ten fragrances to choose from. (Or so the story goes...) Chanel chose perfume number five, hence the name.
Top Notes
Ylang-Ylang, Neroli, Aldehydes

Middle Notes

Jasmine, Mayrose 

Base Notes

Sandalwood, Vetiver
1) Not an ad, but the Baudruchage... I just thought it was quite a cute, short little video.
2) During the 1960s the ads had diminished the allure of Chanel No. 5, identifying it with a scent for sweet, proper co-eds whose style bibles were teen-age fashion magazines. In the 1970s the brand name needed re-vitalization. For the first time in its long history it ran the risk of being labelled as mass market and passé. The fragrance was removed from drug stores and similar outlets. Outside advertising agencies were dropped. The remaking was re-imagined by Jacques Helleu, the artistic director for "Parfums Chanel." Helleu chose French actress Catherine Deneuve for the new face of Chanel. The print ads showcased the iconic sculpture of the bottle. Here is a Catherine Deneuve advertisement from 1978. Do enjoy! 
3) Another Catherine Deneuve, but this one earlier, from 1973. It is known as "Whispered," by Helmut Newton.

4) From 1986 - the earliest advert with Carole Bouquet which I can confirm (or at least think I can confirm the date, but humour me if it is not the case) This one, directed by Ridley Scott, is known as 'Monuments' and with the sound of Nina Simone's "My Baby Just Cares for Me," it is a stunning piece of advertising. Carole Bouquet looks too beautiful for words.
5) Advertising film from 1990 and inspired by Rita Hayworth in 'Gilda', I think this is truly beautiful and I am glad that, even in the english advertising, I do not believe they changed the French words uttered by Carole Bouquet. I can hardly imagine it working in any other language... though Gilda was in English.
6) Another advertising film from 1990, known as "La star," by Ridley Scott, with Carole Bouquet and Music: "Sea of Love" - This is a lovely advert, very chic. I like the marine influence and the lighting but, above all, I must say that I love that hat with the red lipstick. Classy and Elegant. 
7) In the 1950s the glamour of Chanel No. 5 was reignited by Marilyn Monroe, with her unsolicited endorsement of the fragrance providing invaluable, free publicity. After all, we all know that in a 1954 interview, when asked what she wore to bed, the film star famously responded: "Five drops of Chanel No. 5." This advert from the 90s with the inimitable Carole Bouquet pays homage to that in a charming way rather than the slightly creepy 'J'adore Dior' advert with Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich and Grace Kelly.
8) This has a very artistic quality... all the ones from this era do, but this one has, I feel, something particularly poetic and beautifully crafted. "I am made of Blue Sky and Golden Light." I am afraid I know next to nothing of this advertisement. Only that it's from around 1979-early 80s, and I am incertain of who the model is. I really cannot tell from the angle and can only suggest that it may be Carole Bouquet, but I am not sure it looks like her and I would also say that it's too early to be her. What is interesting about this commercial, if you are looking at it properly, is the shoes to the right side of the woman.  Well, if you notice at the beginning while she is laying poolside, she has two shoes next to her...then when the plane's shadow passes over there is only one shoe (she must have knocked it in the pool). The man goes in to retrieve it for her and that is what he is carrying when he gets out of the pool. When he "disappears" the shoe "reappears" next to the other one. See? The devil is in the detail.


 9) Advertisement from about 1982, directed by Ridley Scott, "I Don't Want to Set the World On Fire" by the Ink Spots and, I believe, covered by Bobby Scott. Perfect, even with a shadow of airplane gliding up the Transamerica building in San Francisco - slightly eerie since 2001.  
10) Synchronised Swimmer, Model and Actress, Estella Warren, in this ad from... 1998? Though somebody told me it was 2002. How should I know? I was three and seven respectively in those years. But... it is a Luc Besson.
11) Advertising film from 1998, known as "Le loup," another one by Luc Besson, with Estella Warren and Music by Danny Elfman from Edward Scissorhands.... and wouldn't we all like to know where the WALL of Chanel No.5 is kept?
Le Film - Chanel No.5
Advertising film from 2004. I have great respect for Nicole Kidman as an actress, and for Baz Luhrmann as a director, and for the beautiful 'Claire de Lune' by Claude Debussy and Rodrigo Santoro isn't exactly uneasy on the eye but, as much as I think this is stunningly shot and I like the fact it has a storyline, it left me a little... indifferent? It's very Moulin Rouge (a film I really enjoy) and everything, modernised, but the highlight for me was the Debussy. I don't think there is a particular reason for this; just personal preference.

 This is more my scene, advertising wise. Audrey Tautou being stalked by a handsome man while onboard something very reminiscent of the Orient Express, heading towards Istanbul.What could be better? One can also, of course, recognise the beautiful work of Jean Pierre Jeunet in directing this and I think this more subtle and charming advert is a perfect example of a modern one.
So... now we've seen those, what are we thinking about the new Chanel No.5 adverts with Brad Pitt?
Me? I am not wholly appreciative. I think I understand what Chanel was trying to go for, but personally I find it lamentable - cheesy and rather pretentious, not like the classy adverts which the TV audience have been treated to in the past. Yes, they wanted to refresh their image but I do not think this has worked. The only good which can come of this are the spoof videos which are certain to follow. Anyway, do take a moment to watch Brad Pitt's nonsensical ramblings.

Top Notes
Orange, Bergamot, Grapefruit
Middle Notes
Litchi, Rose, Italian Jasmine
Base Notes
Indonesian Patchouli, Haitian Vetiver, Bourbon Vanilla, White Musk
Perfume launched in 2001, first with Kate Moss, before being replaced as definite spokeswoman with the lovley Keira Knightley in 2006, with the advert below (right) launched in 2007, directed by BAFTA Award winning director Joe Wright.

Named after Chanel's birthday (19th August). A sophisticated scent which was created especially for Coco Chanel to use and to give to friends and favourite clients, Chanel No.19 is much less famous than No.5, but that does not mean that it has not been advertised in the past, even if it does not seem to be lately. I find these ads, mainly from the eighties, very charming. Of course, in every advertisement, there is subliminal messaging of what the product could bring you other than, in this case, a great perfume. This is the reason why it is most often Sunny in ads and why beautiful, young people in stylish clothes are used - they may even be on Holiday, and they most certainly drive a very nice car.
In this ad, the not-so-subliminal key message seems to be: "This perfume is great for kissing a man when he leasts expects it." Cue, images of a man looking surprised as a beautiful, confident, well-dressed young lady wearing Chanel No.19 leaps onto him. Ah yes. So THAT's what they are selling.... Sexual Confidence. :)
Top Notes
Galbanum, Bergamot, Neroli, Hyacinth
Middle Notes
Rose, Orris, Jasmine, Narcissus, Muguet, Ylang-Ylang 

Base Notes

Musk, Sandal, Oakmoss, Leather, Cedarwood
Anyway, it is a lovely perfume and I hope you like these ads I've dug up. Once again, sorry about the Quality of a couple of them.
1) An advert from Christmas 1989 with the Tagline. "Witty, confident, devastatingly Feminine" - Chanel No.19 - and doesn't the model look lovely? Nothing sneering and aggressive or particularly supermodel about her pretty but sensible flat shoes, oversized white blouse and blue jeans. In fact, I would say that the way she is dressed is the epitomy of off-duty chic. This is my favourite of the Chanel No.19 advertisements.
2) An advert from 1982. This time, we are at the races and everyone's money is on Horse No.19, whom we watch speed through the starting gates and win the race while a beautiful, elegant woman sits watching and a man speaks of the perfume. Chanel No. 19... exciting, audacious, bewitching and, of course, prodigious. A Fragance sure to excite your curiosity. If you do not believe me, then you will have to buy it and see for yourself.
3) An advert from 1990. The sound on this is quite low, so you might want to turn it up. Once again, the tagline is "Witty, confident, devastatingly Feminine" and this time we are visiting a filmset under the direction of a lovely dressed (I have to keep emphasising this point) female director. 
4) A Mediterranean feel to this one. Imagine the heat of the Summer. This is one I really cannot say much about. The model is familiar but I would not like to hazard a guess without being certain and I have no idea of the year. I can, however, say that the advertising music was composed by Pierre-Jean Gidon. Or  Georges Bodossian. I accidentally do not know which of the two it is.
5) I do not know the date on this one. If anyone has any idea, feel free to say so, but I can state that it features the model Patti Hansen (a.k.a. Mrs Keith Richards) This time the Tagline (following the same pattern of saying the name of the fragrance as the 1982 one, suggesting it is an ad from the early 1980s) is Chanel No.19 - Intriguing, Different and Devastatingly Sensual. That said, I would be glad if somebody who speaks better Spanish than my own would confirm this.
6) Another ad promoting Chanel No.19 as the perfect fragrance for catching men unawares with.a grab and a kiss, even while he is behind the wheel of a car. I am not sure but, even though he has stopped driving, I still think that it might be frowned upon as a health and safety hazard... he might accidentally step on the pedal of the car. Well, it is the 'Outspoken' Chanel.




In a recent revamp of No. 19, Chanel has drastically reduced the products available. In the UK the original splash bottles and refillable sprays of Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum have been discontinued, as have the two sizes of refillable Parfum spray. The Parfum is now only available in 7.5ml and 15ml size bottles (the Parfum has been discontinued in the USA altogether). The range of bath and body products, which was previously identical to the range available in No. 5, has now been reduced to Body Lotion and Bath and Shower Gel.
Top Notes
Angelica, Mimosa, Frangipani, Mandarin

Middle Notes
Cascarilla, Orange Flower, Bulgarian Rose, Jasmine 

Base Notes
Labdanum, Ambrette Seed, Opopanax, Benzoin, Tonka, Vanilla
A Fragrance launched in 1984, this advert with Vanessa Paradis in "La cage aux oiseaux" dates from 1992. This is one of my all time favourite perfume advertisements, known as l'esprit de Chanel. Classy, elegant and, I feel, very well thought out... every detail is perfect, from Coco Chanel herself (well, someone pretending to be her) standing at the window to the cat looking at the songbird that is Vanessa Paradis, as though just waiting for her to come in reach of his sharp claws. What more could you want from a perfume ad?
 Chance Fragrance Notes: Patchouli, Musk, Vetiver, Orris, Vanilla and Jasmine.
Perfume launched in 2002.
The Fun thing to do here? Well, you might notice that, after the first older advertisement, there are three ads with the same basis. It's great fun to set them off in a round since they all take the same amount of time and have the same music. Note: It doesn't take a lot to amuse me.
"The decidedly young scent for those who dare to dream."
Men's Perfumes 


Thank you for reading. Do Follow and please comment.

PS: Mention which your favourite of these is and also your favourite out of the Audrey Tautou one and Nicole Kidman one - I'd like to see if I am in a minority. :)


Sunday, 30 September 2012

The coup de force of Paris Fashion Week...

It has been rather a while now, has it not?  I must say that that is all wholly my fault and a mixture of acute laziness and the burgeoning of the new school year with its ensuing stress, mainly about the state of my future, are the key reasons. How are you all? I have missed my target 250 followers by the end of September, but I am still very happy and full of bright ideas.
So, I did a few posts of collections presented at New York Fashion Week, and one from London with none from Milan and none from Paris so far. From this, you might have come to the conclusion that I have the largest interest in New York Fashion Week and, from there, the three that follow can't match up - nothing could be further from the truth! Not that I don't like New York Fashion Week, but the ones I keep an eye on most avidly are Paris and London.
With that in mind, I am doing a quick update on five of the collections - Nina Ricci, Viktor&Rolf, Vivienne Westwood, Christian Dior and Jean Paul Gaultier. The analysis is not very in depth, but this is more to whet your appetite for next Spring's fashions than a deep and meaningful critical look at the collections... I hope you enjoy!

Nina Ricci

This is the most traditionally 'Pretty' of the collections here presented, even with the bondage harnesses, dark make-up, svere hairstyles, fishnets and leather trousers. Alongside this, some sassy, delicious pieces (including a fuschia satin dress with brightly coloured polkadots, a silver cocktail dress with flapper-style fringing, a pretty sequined slip dress and a more simple black crepe gown) and that usual Nina Ricci dose of parisian chic. There were some great elements and a strong sense of wearability that is lacking in many designer collections. The sheer elements used on many of the dresses was perfect to add texture and, in some cases, the perfect mixture of refined and sexy. 

This Viktor&Rolf collection is a surprise favourite for me. Not a surprise in terms of the theatrical nature which is usually there, but the lack of it, the regularity and the ability to cross the wide divide between runway and the wardrobes of the fashionable female population. One felt a sense of old Hollywood and grecian-style whimsicality with delicious pleats. Did I mention that I love Pleats? As in floor-length dresses pleats? As in, a LOT? There is not a lot more perfect than floaty, pleated skirts, stylishly cut. Well, apart from floaty, floor-length, pleated skirts with broad shoulders and small waists, as on display in this collection. Alongside this, think large bows, roses and pretty tulle embroideries - bref, eveningwear to die for. I also found, to my surprise since I generally feel that silver is a colour I should best avoid, that I am now wishing to buy a floor-length, pleated, silver lamé skirt from somewhere.

Vivienne Westwood

Christian Dior

So, if you've been with this blog for a bit, you may have remembered that I said I was rather cynical about how Raf Simons would progress at Dior, bearing in mind that Dior fashion is a staple of luxury femininity and Raf Simons had been at Jil Sander before, where minimalism and simplicity is the order of the day. With this collection, I feel my fears were proved once and for all to be completely unfounded. There were elements which were not completely to my taste but, by and large, I could not have asked for anything better. The discipline created a sensible restrained sensuality, very different to pre-Raf Simons collections which we had seen recently. It was sharp glamour with some beautifully cut pieces and surprising bright colours. I loved the sophisticated dresses with pretty gauze, the two tone tops with simple black shorts creating a beautifully coloured statement and the four final pieces of simple black cashmere tops with iridescent balloon skirts of floral-printed satin duchesse. I have more than accepted the idea of designing seasonal collections to present a woman with ideas and apparel options which are actually wearable and not just show pieces for the satisfaction of fashion lovers. I'll know by Raf's next couture collection for sure what I think of his posting at Dior and if I think that this brand of wearability is enough to make up for the lack of breathtaking pieces so far - those who don't like it need to understand it's a new Dior, a new age, a New Look... *Winking Face*

Jean Paul Gaultier
Where at Paris Fashion Week can one find Grace Jones, Annie Lennox, Madonna, Boy George, Michael Jackson, Abba and Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie (or something that looks very reminiscent of them) all in the same room? At Jean Paul Gaultier, of course. Where else? Hitting off with some sharp, beautiful tailoring and angular hair, then finishing with the euro-disco star Amanda Lear in a pink Leotard. It descended into a collection of pure Jean Paul Gaultier spectacle. Okay, so there are not many people I know who would take the leotards to the streets, but there were some great elements and, in many cases, perfectly catching the essence of the performers. It was the eighties, pure and simple and, you know what? I liked it.

 Because it's a great, iconic song and it was the first thing I wanted to listen to after seeing the Jean Paul Gaultier collection. I hoped you might too:
So, that was not a great comeback and each review was rather short and sweet without analysing key trends, but I really don't have the time or energy for much more right now. Hopefully, I'll be back on form with a little more time on my hands soon. :)
 Thank you for reading, do comment and please follow!