Thursday, 27 January 2011
TV Interview Mademoiselle Chanel (1969) - Part 1.
TV Interview Mademoiselle Chanel (1969)
Male voice: Miss Chanel, two, part 1
CC: "What's that?" (claps her hands)
"I thought he was going to hit me in the face."
"I saw that in the street three days ago. A man who hit his wife. She deserved it. I was observing them for a while, and I thought to my self, she's going to get one. And I was right."
Reporter: People who recognize you in the street, do they speak to you?
CC: "Yes, Often. Too often, if you ask me. I don't know if you understand, but it's tiring. And then they come to say "hello" to me, and I don't know them, I've never seen them before, I'm convinced I've never ever seen them before. But you have to stay polite and act as if it's all fine. So, we politely shake hands, and then the people I'm with start asking: "Who's that?" and I answer: "I have no idea." "What do you mean, you have no idea?" "Well, I have no idea." "But it seems as if you know them very well." "If it pleases them, I don't mind. But I assure you, I don't know them."
"These girls, you make them wear some pants and they become vulgar. I don't know why. They think they have to move like a dandy. And I say "Oh no, don't walk like that. At all." Then I take off the pants and try them on another girl. With exactly the same result."
"You can very well wear a pair of pants in the country side, it's most practical, you won't be cold, you can get wet a little, it doesn't matter. On top of that, it's me who invented them. Almost twenty years ago."
"I wanted to create decent clothing when out at the beach or something. Because I thought walking around in a bathing suit, we're going to be all naked. So, I thought, even if we're at the beach, it's not hard to create something like pants. A skirt is not pretty. A bath robe is horrible. So, I thought a pair of pants suits the occasion very well."
"Women are very kind, because they're wearing pants all day, but between that and making it into a fashion, and the 70% of ladies who wear pants during a dinner, that's sad."
Reporter: You don't think that pants suit all women?
CC: "No. No, no, no. It suits very young people. It doesn't work when we're a certain age. It gives the impression that we're wearing them to look younger. I think when you try hard to look young, it makes you look even older. It is the stupidest thing a woman can do to herself. Telling her self "If I am going to wear pants I'll look younger than when I'll wear a skirt." It's crazy!".... Enfin. It is a funny period, we're living in. Women are becoming.... I don't know what. Another sex? I don't know how these women see them selves, to be doing that. Wearing pants won't change their faces, you see."(laughs)
"They do pants. I do pants. We don't like skirts anymore. We like pants. And so I make them. And it shows how much I have changed, because two years ago I would have said, I don't give a toss what everyone does, I don't care. They can do whatever they want to, I will not make pants."
Reporter: How do you create all the variety in your collections while staying loyal to your self at the same time?
CC: "Ah, because I think when we become incoherent, we have to start all over again, and again. It's unacceptable. Unfortunately it happens. There are designers out there, very talented ones, but they change fashion every week. And that's why I personally wanted to create a style, because if I had to create something new every week, I wouldn't be able to do that. Impossible. We'd end up creating ugly things." (laughs)
"If we were a little bit protected, we could keep the prestige. I have the impression, that we're loosing the prestige. We've lost couture completely last year. To the Italians. We let them walk all over us. Because the Italians, you see, organize the week of all that, very well. They have people there officially - no idea where they went looking for those – they don't come from the street though. It's a former ambassador, who takes care of Couture, well brought up, charming. To bother all these people, you better make sure you'll entertain them. You open La Scala, hire people, try to entertain all these people who are there. And what do we do in France? Zero. We show them naked people, as if it's something new and interesting." (laughs)
"Women's fashion was always made in France. Always. Always. Always. And the biggest buyers of all that, were the Russians. That's funny, isn't it? All the Russians got dressed in Paris. The moment they had the means to do that. But they were extremely well off. Today, they dress them selves in bags (laughs). But it's better than last year."
"Yes. I have a Russian friend who went back last year, and who told me it was an unpalatable misery. While today it is more like a poor country. That's all."
"I don't think France will win anything by separating it self from all that."
"I've been fighting for two years with all the couturiers for those mini skirts. Because I find them indecent. I am not from this period, you know. To show off your knees, they have to be really beautiful knees. They're joints. It's like showing off your elbows. Look, like this "Oh look how cute they are my elbows." It's awful, all that! You know what happens to me these days? I enter certain restaurants and when men look at me, they start applauding me. Because I said two words about how awful it is to show off knees. That it was rarely beautiful, that it is unnecessary. And if you study the human body, you know that when you have bad knees, you have bad hips. We're large in that area. We're build to give birth to children. That's not what you should show men. You should show your self as a young boy.
I don't have anything against knees, if they are beautiful. But when they're not beautiful... Go sit on a bench in the street and tell me how many people you see passing by with beautiful legs. You can't image how bad knees can be: knock-knees, fat knees, knees that become a bit purple... Oh it's awful! No. And I also think if we show all that, we don't want anything anymore. It's like people who stuff them selves with food and someone shows up with a nice piece of cake they like, and you're like “No thank you. Not today.” It's a bit like that."
Reporter: Your problem is to make sure that women remain pretty and distinguished looking.
CC: "Not too over dressed though. Dressed as a woman, but not imitating some, some... All that is a horrible mix. You see, Paris is loosing its prestige. It becomes vulgar, and it never used to be. No matter what we did, it was always delightful. And there should be some kind of protocol for dinner time. Everything is wretched in France. You invite people for dinner at 8, and people arrive at 10 in the evening. They think it's completely normal. Which means that we eat poorly. If there was one privilege we are well known for in France, is for eating well. We eat poorly. Where can we invite people for dinner at 8, which is a reasonable hour for everyone, 8 o'clock, everybody will be there at 8.15, perfect, we sit, we can have dinner, go out afterwards, if we want. But all that is changing. It's a trend. When some chic lady throws a dinner party at 10, they all start throwing dinner parties at 10.30 afterwards, to be chicer than she is. It's so stupid! I believe we're heading for total craziness, you see. And that bothers me a lot. Because I think stupidity is the worst of all. We can forgive everything except stupidity. And these are stupid things."
End part 1
I will post part two with the translation later this week.