For the DVR: Signe Chanel

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signe chanelThis weekend while flipping the channels I happened upon the second half of a documentary on the Sundance Channel entitled Signe Chanel. A description from the Sundance Channel website:

Filmmaker Loïc Prigent’s fascinating, witty and infectiously joyous look within a leading fashion house focuses on the evolution of Chanel’s Fall/Winter 2004-2005 collection. From Karl Lagerfeld’s initial sketches and their first interpretation by veteran seamstresses to the climactic show as the models strut the catwalk, Signé Chanel presents a loving depiction of an enclosed, esoteric world.

Episode three visits a farm outside Paris, where Madame Pouzieux, a no-nonsense 75-year-old who has been weaving Chanel’s signature braided trim since 1947.

Do you ever wonder how these designers can charge and arm an a leg for what seems to be a simple garment? This series of films will take you into the design studio, introduce you to the seamstresses, see the interaction between the seamstresses and Karl Lagerfeld and observe the blood, sweat and tears shed to create a piece of haute couture. Even my husband found it utterly fascinating. Check the Sundance Schedule to see when it may be on next!

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. Did anyone see the recent PBS documentary (name?) in which the reporter was able to interview several women who regularly purchased haute couture? It was fascinating. She met Lagerfeld, briefly, and attended the showings. She also interviewed one or two older women, with closets full of haute couture from seasons past–incredibly gorgeous clothes, exquisite fabrics, unique trims. One woman had labels attached to each outfit, detailing when and where she had worn it. All the women were slender and attractive; the older women would still fit into the clothes they bought 25 years ago. At the end, the reporter went with one of the women as she visited the designer to choose designs, fit, trim, etc. The buyer knew exactly what she wanted, understood what worked and didn’t for her body and coloring. In the end, the buyer offered the reporter the chance to try on a haute couture coat. The reporter was transformed–she finally understood what it was all about–the exquisite workmanship (work*woman*ship, actually) and materials, the very fit of the clothing. A glimpse into another, almost alien, world.

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