The new advertising images for the best-seller and much copied Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel saw the light of day on Fashionising.com. The site offers that it is "a gorgeous Keira a sheer white blouse, Chanel pearls, and braces" (what other nations call suspenders ~personally I associate braces with teeth!). Backseatcuddler.com is also enthusiastic, calling it "very retro Coco Chanel look". Indeed the black and white juxtaposition signals Chanel even before you can lisp Coco.
Personally I find that the previous bowler-hat-hiding-invisible-breasts and leaving elongated limps to view was not as naughty as it wanted to be, although the commercial was positively divine. In comparison the newest is looking like it goes for a little more coverage, yet still with the subtle tittilation that Coco Mademoiselle stands for in the Chanel portfolio (and which must have accounted for a large portion of the younger clientele following). The look is mature and erotic to the degree that the audience can take it. The need for a masculine touch, as androgyne is so tempting visually, is presented through rose-tinted glasses: The sheer blouse covers just so (you can still see outlines) and the flowing effect contrasts well with the stricter line of the suspenders, which appear like whips on flesh we only visualise and never see. But it's also a fashion nod to the gangster of the 20s, the era in which Chanel solidified the look that would make her the stuff of legend and the long pearls necklace depicted is also a nod to the jewellery she helped immortalise. Suspenders also remind us of garters, their erotic significance never far in the mind of the viewer: the promise of something that will loosen, that will unbotton...
What is odd is that despite its timelessness (I've worn the look myself), this look was very 2006: it even trickled down to Miss Selfridges and American Apparel!
Keira has already been photographed for Interview magazine with this look, perhaps to more outright sexy vibes, while Victoria Beckham also presented her own boyish but conservative version in Christian Dior (or rather the stylist's vision) on an Elle cover recently.
None of them however can surpass the sheer power that is emitted through that cougar that is Charlotte Rampling and her ambiguous character in The Night Porter. Keira is pretty and has that angular look that helped Rampling cut the silver screen like a scimitar, but her own raw erotic power is not of the same calibre.
My personal gripe however with the new print advertisement for Coco Mademoiselle is with hair and makeup: The shade of Keira's nicely coiffed a la 40s noir heroines hair looks like it has been two-toned horizontally (as if she is growing out her natural shade), which puts a much darker frame around the face; perhaps an intended choice, given the unusually shaded makeup which sculpts her already sculpted cheekbones and gives supposedly mysterious depth to her eye sockets. The finger on the mouth apart from acting as a further sucking innuendo also elongates the line of the cheekbone to the point that it becomes almost Garboesque. A heavy load on Keira's tiny shoulders....
Related reading on Perfume Shrine: Optical Scentsibilities, Chanel news and reviews, Chanel Les Exclusifs.
Ad brought to my attention by AlbertCAN (thanks!). Pics: foreveramber.typepad.com, fashioning.com, fashionfrappe.blogspot.com, fashioncopious.typepad.com