“Once Upon A Time…” by Karl Lagerfeld
Once upon a time, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel opened a shop from which she sold her hats. Financed by her lover Arthur ‘Boy’ Capel, the seaside shop (located in Deauville) saw immediate success, and as they say, the rest is history. The subject of a new, black-and-white short film directed by Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld, British star and face of Chanel Keira Knightley stars as the young Gabrielle, giving us a glimpse into Coco’s extraordinary fashion mind. The film marks a legendary 100 years for the French luxury brand. chanel.com
SEX & Seditionaries: The incomplete sordid works of Vivienne Westwood & Malcolm McLaren
If punk has a matriarch, it is Vivienne Westwood. With her then partner, Malcolm McLaren, Westwood did as much as anyone to both foment punk in the U.K. (by cobbling together the Sex Pistols—named for their shop, SEX, and assembled of the malcontents who hung around at it) and codify its wardrobe (by dressing them). At their King’s Road shop—rechristened, in punk style, for every new movement it embraced, moving through Let It Rock, SEX, and Seditionaries in the seventies—Westwood and McLaren gave punk both a home base and an ever-replenishing atelier.
Westwood’s fashion career flourished long after punk had begun to ring hollow (she helped to cement the New Romantic look in the early eighties, and she riffed influentially on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century dressing and the trappings of the English upper classes, too), but she’s never quite slipped the shackles of her association with punk. Not that she dwells. Journalists—guilty as charged—insist more on her punk credentials than she does these days. Westwood herself moved on to fighting the latest of her chosen battles with vigor and clamor (among them, climate change, exonerating the jailed Native American activist Leonard Peltier, and supporting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange). All this while overseeing a global fashion empire that comprises multiple lines of menswear and womenswear, accessories, and fragrance. Her contributions were recognized by a damehood from the Queen (whose image the Pistols famously defaced) and a retrospective at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, in 2004. Here, Westwood speaks with Style.com about the enduring allure of punk, its patina versus its politics, and how she’s carrying on the spirit of punk today.