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Friday, October 24, 2008


Unkle Karl has done it again with an art exhibit that has everyones' tongue a'waggin.

Here's what the New York Post says about it:

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's... Karl Lagerfeld's spiritual home?

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company's iconic 2.55 quilted bag, Chanel has built a Zaha Hadid-designed torus-shaped exhibition hall in the middle of Central Park's Rumsey Playfield. The space-age exhibition hall, open to the public by a free-ticketing system, houses 18 handbag-inspired installations by international artists including Sylvie Fleury, David Levinthal, Yang Fudong and Michael Lin.

Conceived as a collaboration between Chanel's creative director Karl Lagerfeld and Pritzker Prize-winning architect Hadid, the Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion arrived in New York freshly reassembled from its previous stints in Tokyo and Hong Kong. After New York, it will travel to London, Moscow and Paris.

Lagerfeld, the brand's iconic living-legend designer, arrived in New York yesterday and is expected to attend tonight's opening celebration cocktail party along with Hadid and other art-world VIPs.

When visiting the pavillion, guests are equipped with guided audio-tour headsets programmed with a 35-minute semi-narrative commentary by husky-voiced French actress and vocalist Jeanne Moreau.

The installations range from the surreal - Korean artist Lee Bul's "Light Years" lumpy sculptural installation is topped with a montage of leather and chains - to the cleverly charming - Swiss artist Sylvie Fleury's "Crystal Custom Commando" is a video installation played on the mirror of a larger-than life Chanel powder compact propped up inside a king-bed-sized replica 2.55 handbag.

Argentina's Leandro Erlich's "Le Trottoir" video installation is a cyclically-changing stunning and solemn Parisian cityscape reflected in a puddle on black asphalt ground.

One especially hilarious set-up - "Fifty Years After our Common Era, or Handbags' Revolt" by Russian art collective Blue Noses - features stacks of plain cardboard boxes within each of which are projected films of naked women of all sizes chasing after, bodyboarding on, and beating each over the heads with Chanel handbags.

The Chanel 2.55 handbag was first unveiled by Coco Chanel - who designed the bag for her own use - in February 1955. Its popularity is often attributed to its compact elegance and novel design features - the purse has several secret compartments. Over the past 50 years, the iconic quilt-and-chain shape has graced the arms and shoulders of celebrities all over the world - in recent years it's become a favorite of Mischa Barton, Victoria Beckham, Ashley Tisdale and Mary-Kate Olsen. The bag is priced from $1,795 up to $31,500 for limited-collectors-editions at Chanel stores.

The Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion is free and open to the public by a reservation-ticket system through Nov. 9. Though all 23,000 advance tickets were claimed online within hours of becoming available, a limited number of same-day tickets are available at the on-location box office starting Wednesday.


for a tour of the exhibit in Central Park

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