Edinburgh & Chanel

Like Hemingway and Gellhorn but without HBO (and many words)




Following the notes on my generation, behold: a humble brag. This week, I went to the most otherworldly destination wedding that I have ever seen. No detail went spared: the moment I arrived at the airport in Edinburgh, where border control and subsequent airport officials very clearly surmised that I “must be here for the fahsun show,” a branded iPad with my name plastered across it waited to retrieve me (just next to, I might add, one titled “Pitt.”)

On Tuesday night at Linlithgow Palace, a series of five men dressed in traditional Scottish kilts played a bag-pipe induced symphony, welcoming guests into a glass tent built into the grounds on which Mary, Queen of Scot was born, overlooking a dark, wide pond and the shapely silhouettes of leafless trees continuing to subsist through a blanket of thick fog.

The tent contained at least thirty tables. Candles and chandeliers dimly lit the room, reflecting the elegant, intricate table settings—three forks, two spoons, four knives per guest. Each with wine, champagne and water glasses different from the guest’s before, and a large, round steel metal plate, durable and ready to harvest the five course feast that would inevitably feature the best smoked salmon Scotland had to offer.

While we soaked in what I imagined to be the last indulgence of the night, (caramel blocks of fudge,) 18-year-old English dreamboat, Jake Bugg (two g’s,) emerged from behind a curtain and with his uncannily folksy tunes, began to serenade the intimate group sitting before him. When he completed his set, the man of the hour, Karl Lagerfeld took the stage to shake his hand.

Herds of the Kaiser’s guests flocked to the stage, anticipating a word of exchange about the memorable night. Eyes sparkled wide and camera flashes went off. Alas though, nothing, and we were forced to conjecture our own theories about the way in which Karl had met and fallen in love with Edinburgh.

Indeed, Chanel’s Metier d’Art show could not be described as anything less than a regal destination wedding. If the organization, dedication and thoughtful attention that went into crafting the perfect two days weren’t a testament to Lagerfeld’s adoration and subsequent commitment to Edinburgh, well, then, I must be terrible lover.

Before the dinner, before the performance, there was the ceremony. In a courtyard featuring a center piece comprised of Scottish warriors made from iron, defeating what looked like lion-shaped daemons, there were buckets of fire that toasted the otherwise freezing venue. The guests, dressed in the team fabric (tweed,) took their plank-wooden seats.

The music started and there she was: Stella. In a black waistcoat, featuring a tartan collar and sleeves, she layered to perfect oblivion. They all did. Pants, skirts, tights, sweaters, blouses, jackets, even purses. As the show progressed, an inherent nod to Scottish culture and their tartan, (decidedly more emblazoned in the Chanel iteration,) infused by a profound appreciation for 1983 (considerably large sleeves, signature pearl drop earrings, strands of gold chain,) progressed (and regressed) to Medieval times.

Thick white wool gowns and lace Tudor collars lead me to believe that the colonial looking woman Kristin Wiig swore she’d seen on the wing of her flight to Las Vegas circa Bridesmaids was actually a Chanel model. But how did she get her to hair to cornrow from the back of her scalp up, creating a most convoluted beehive? (There were gems plucked into there.)

As for the shoes, two pair of heels in the entire collection, the rest were a series of Doc Marten-esque lace up boots, some cut out and exposing wool argyle tights, others covered entirely by fur. In what was perhaps the most man-repelling version, leather floral appliqués featuring different swatches of plaid fabric infiltrated a shin-length boot. And I admired the small classic leather Chanel bags, updated with the sporadic placement of metal tassels across the flaps. There were flasks too, worn as diminutive purses layered over their heavier set sisters.

Then the show ended and bag piping ensued. “What did you think?” a guest asked me while we walked to the glass tent.

I sighed in astonishment—almost, but not quite speechless. “Real, true, whole love.” I explained. “But where was Brad Pitt?”

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  • Elisa

    I really like the pronounced under-eye black liner and textured hair; you’re so right about the 80s inspiration, it could be quite dreadful but in this case is ravishing.

    Elisa – Wandering Minds

  • Christie Bradley

    These clothes are just amazing! I love the “history run through a blender” feel. There are even some pieces here that I can see myself wearing, which is unusual for me with a runway show. I have a feeling my husband would gag though.

  • Chloe

    I’m sure it must have been amazing, but reading about it the way you have written it, really makes it sound enchanting and other-worldly… sigh… Simply magical!

  • zesiku



  • erika

    what a dream!!


  • Sylvia etc

    Such a great compte-rendu, it’s regal !!

    I looove Stella Tennant’s look: all i want for Xmas is red tartan now 😉

    yeah exactly, where was Brad Pitt?


  • lynnsay

    I love that some really high fashion came to Scotland for once! The collection is just beautiful as well, I love the tartan tweed jacket. I hope you enjoyed visiting our tiny little country as well!


  • rhodawong
  • MyWhiteList

    Wow! This is absolutely amazing! And very regal indeed. It kinda reminds me a bit of Corrie Nielsen AW12 at London Fashion Week in February! I absolutely love Scotland. Went to Uni in St Andrews and lived in Edinburgh so these pictures bring back so many fond memories…

  • Styleclouds

    Fabulous collection! xo, Christina


  • cheche

    Fat is back in town! Sure as hell won’t be accused obese. Good god, now I have to eat again.

  • Leticia Queiroga

    Ohh!! It was amazing. Karl is the best. I loved.

    Kisses from Brazil

  • That was the best Chanel show in a while! (Even tho Chanel is always amazing, obvs.) I was pinning them from Style.com and honestly didn’t know which looks not to pin.

  • monkeyshines

    stunning pieces!


  • The (un?)social butterfly

    This is the first time ever on a post titled “Chanel” in which I just didn’t care at all about it at first; I was anxious to see if you would publish pictures of the city, as Edinburgh has decidedly conquered my heart this year. After noticing you were still serious about the fashion, I realized that from your pictures, it seems Chanel couldn’t have picked a more perfect place for displaying this collection. Happy, serene medieval, that’s what Edinburgh and that collection are about.


  • This collection is brilliant. This mix of contemporary and historical era is perfectly implemented but still so Chanel, so Karl. I would have not expected anything else but perfection.


  • Denisa

    I sow that collection, is so nice and I like that materials and colors. Karl is always great. Have a nice day.


  • I would instancely associate these images with Alexander McQueen or Vivienne Westwood.. at first glance..then..ha, i saw the very Channel! I think it’s a bit costumey, (well, it’s runway show) but actually wearable

    Naty Ponders

  • Mouthful of Style

    Gorgeous! And glad to hear the show and Scotland has made for a “regal destination wedding” as this is where I will actually be tying the knot.

    Style insights and luxury fashion business learnings: http://www.mouthfulofstyle.blogspot.com

  • Michelle

    I love reading your first hand experience. And I loved the show even just viewing it from Style.com

  • the red tweed jacket with the white blouse is simply amazing. wow


  • Nico
  • jenny

    * Tudor collars ( Mary Queen of Scotts lived during the Elizabethan period)

  • Daria

    Hi! Loved your post but check out mine

  • Oh man…. they look so warm! I am freezing my little butt off here in goddamn northern Portugal and its damp cold and houses with no central heating – or other forms of heating – and looking at this made me feel a little warmer for a second. Some of the fabrics look cosy as fuck, I wanna make a giant quilt and wrap it around myself with this whole collection.


  • Sophie Lewis

    Such amazing detail! The shot of you and mira duma is perfection. I think comparing the show to a wedding is the perfect metaphor, especially in regards to chanel.

    ps. Love the reference to Bridesmaids:) xx


  • Must have been a very impressive event.
    I like the accesories but for me it’s hard to imagine seeing anyone wear these clothes in real life. I hope I will though


  • Sounds like an incredible night but did Karl really not address his guests at all? Rude? Wish I could have experienced that and being only 30 minutes away from my home… still I assume security was tight and my attempts would have been thwarted

    ♥ Thankfifi

  • chantelle

    Wow I really love the mix of patterns with the skirts and tights. However, I can’t get over the fact that Mira was with you! ZOMG! I’m fangirl-ing right now. *tears


  • Sarah

    I really like your haircut

  • The Style Engineer

    You describe the event better than anyone!



  • Bonnie Clyde
  • Elaine Daniels

    I love these clothes! I would actually love to wear the all white outfit..beautiful!

  • madisonmuse.com

    Chanel Fashion Show! A moment in time to remember. Thank you for sharing your

  • Chloe Miller

    I love this! I love how regal, how divine, the plaid looks with everything! Where may I find this kind of thing online!? I love the boots, those are totally “Ninja”, meaning unexpectedly cool!

  • Eliza Harrison

    Where’s the wearability? Lagerfeld is no doubt this centuries talent, but he’s driving Chanel away from its most dear ideal: wearability for the modern woman. It’s become a circus. Gabrielle is turning in her grave.

  • wordslav

    Seriously, could there be a worst writer in English? Must you belabor the very act of it? And does your need to sound learned drive you to such an extent that you end up sounding retarded? Can’t you write a single, clean, clear line of prose? Reading your writing is like teetering endlessly on the edge of malaprop … the logophile’s equivalent of enduring the bleachers at NASCAR in hopes of a crash … it’s nice for us all that you’re good at fashion, get to go wonderful places and are generous enough to report back. But if you couldn’t play the violin, you wouldn’t would you? So please consider easing up on the floridity and flourishes, could you? … Think of it as over-accessorizing, and when it doubt, remember: less is more.

    • Annoyed

      Hey, Condescending Connie! If you don’t like it, write your own blog.

    • Leandra Medine

      i just have…so…much…to … say.

    • youaresostupid

      If you don’t like it, don’t read it You are the retarded one

    • youaresostupid

      keep your idiotic comments to yourself

    • Sophie Lewis

      There are many errors in your writing of this paragraph, so you’re not one to criticize her’s (worst writer…good at fashion…comma errors????). Also I am pretty sure you are reading the wrong blog if you always live by the less is more motto.

    • Felicity

      You know what you were saying about the violin……..?! Hashtag proofread.

    • Carolina

      Hashtag douchebag Hashtag Jealous&FrustratedWannabeWriter

    • Addison

      Oh, wordslav. Learn your place.

  • sara

    I love the fact that their was no heels very fresh and as for the cloths they are amazing


  • Felicity

    I think you’ve broken the world record for humble bragging! Where WAS Brad Pitt? Whadda man. Lagerfeld is so fantastic – these clothes are immense and it sounds like a beautiful night. Isn’t Jake Bugg a cutie?! x


  • Skyler McPherson

    I really love the pieces shown above! We all of us wants to have that collection – Chanel one of the most luxurious brand in the world when it comes to makeup products, bags, jewelries and clothes.

  • I love the overall Victorian and grandiose look! Makes me wanna pull out my knee-high boots from my closet right about now. Or wear a pair like this one I’ve found here: http://shoeporn.com/dereon-tulip/ 😉

  • daftasanything

    I would wear everything Stella has on. Just not all at once. Nice mix of wearable and otherwise.

  • letta

    i am soo sorry to say this but would you really wear this?!? yes some parts of it but all together as shown? don’t misunderstand me I DO like Chanel a lot however this is getting ridiculous.I am sorry, Karl

  • vittoria gallacci

    I love the Metièrs d’Art collection, I love the mix of Chanel+other countries: whenever you go it’s ALWAYS signè Chanel!

    Vittoria from 5 IN THE MORNING


  • anonymouse

    Reminds me A LOT of Alexander McQueen’s Highland Rape collection.

    • ValentinaV

      Because his inspiration was Scotland? This is are two VERY different collections.The essence of it is completely different. Like day and night.

  • ahhh my home land <3 lol… x

  • DaniJenee

    Sure, maybe it’s not all wildly “ready-to-wear” but it is fantastic. Fashion is art. It can and should be abstract. Cheers to Karl and his new affair with tartan.

  • Lou

    This looks like very awkward leg placement of your behalf. Hash tag you and Miro