Since fashion and dance are combined in harmony, ballet has become an integral part of the Chanel family.
Talking about the “relationship” between Chanel fashion and the art of ballet, we will go back in time to 1913. At that time, Gabrielle Chanel and her boyfriend, Boy Capel happened to see the show The Rite of Spring directed by Nijinsky. This is also the work with a special mark in her life.
When she met Misia – who later became close friends for 30 years, Gabrielle Chanel gradually entered the colorful art world. She met many famous artists, including Sergei Diaghilev, founder of Ballets Russes and revolutionized the art of dance. Different from the outdated conventions of classical dance, the brilliant aesthetics of the Ballets Russes, where music, dance and the art of great fusion, turn ballet into a complete art.
Gabrielle Chanel first met Sergei Diaghilev for lunch in Venice. At that time, Sergei wanted to recreate the play The Rite of Spring and was calling for financial support. Gabrielle Chanel decided to help him on one condition: no one knew about her involvement. As a result, the ballet was performed in Paris on December 15, 1920. Later, Diaghilev’s secretary, Vladimir Kochno, revealed the incident.
In 1924, Gabrielle Chanel designed dance costumes for the classic ballet Le Train bleu, produced by Ballets Russes. After the final training session, she realized “the freedom of the body is the best beauty” and began to adjust the designs to suit each dancer. So for Chanel, ballet is a unique experience that allows her to harmonize artistic values into each design.
Later, this inspiration was followed by Karl Lagerfeld in the Spring-Summer 1998 Collection. Continuing the patronage of the founder, House of CHANEL has been the official partner of the Nijinsky Awards Ceremony in Monaco since 2000 and Since 2018, Chanel has been sponsoring gala outfits for the opening of the dance season at Opéra de Paris. This year, Virginie Viard is the Art Director responsible for designing costumes for the Variatuons ballet choreography choreographed by a friend of Garielle Chanel, Serge Lifar.