Karl Largerfeld and Carine Roitfeld have teamed up for the ultimate book project, a coffee table book called The Little Black Jacket. Chronicling the life of Chanel’s iconic piece of outerwear, the two French style icons have rustled up 100 of their most fashionable—and famous—lady friends, including models, actors, artists, and rock stars, and asked each of them to sport the timeless piece in their own, unique way.
Chanel released a behind the scenes video that gives us a glimpse of the book’s co-creators on set as they photograph the leading ladies, and the results are awe-inspiring. Sarah Jessica Parker has her black jacket woven into a crown, while Virginie Ledoyen is dressed as an actual queen, Marie Antoinette to be exact, complete with the soaring backcombed pink beehive. Georgia May Jagger’s quintessential sex siren look sees her jacket thrown over a bra and thigh-high boots, while Roitfeld one-ups everyone, dressing as Coco Chanel herself, recreating a famous portrait of the luxury fashion house’s founder from the ‘60s, cigarette and all.
As one of those throw-on pieces that you can wear anytime, anywhere, any day, with anything, Roitfeld believes the jacket suits everyone and likens it to an elegant version of the denim jacket. It’s success and iconic status lies in its versatility. Wear it with an evening dress or jeans and the jacket works, lifting you from marginally well dressed to effortlessly put-together. Chanel designed the jacket in the ‘50s and it’s still kicking around today as the brand’s signature piece, with Lagerfeld reinventing it every season.
If you’re too cash-strapped to afford your own, you can always take the DIY route. Chanel released a captivating video which explains step-by-step each stage of the jacket’s creation, from the first sketch by Lagerfeld to the heart-achingly expensive, but beautiful, finished product.
The Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s Classic Revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld will be available in bookstores this fall and coincides with the opening of an exhibition dedicated to the jacket in Tokyo later this month.