Tuesday, December 15, 2009

CHANEL TRITON: KARL'S NEW TOY

Last July the fashion world was abuzz with two sneaked photos (by Stéphane Feugére) of a custom-built Triton being used as a prop for Chanel's press kit for their 2010 Spring collection, 'Starting Point', at their Rue Royale boutique in Paris, during Fashion Week.

While vintage motorcycles are regularly used to give high-fashion advertising a cachet of authenticity, nostalgia, and a little bad-boy chic, the Triton used by Chanel went much farther down the Branding trail than we've ever seen from the houses of haute couture: the motorcycle is Chanel all over, from the large cutout logo on the upswept exhaust heat shield, to much smaller details such as gas caps and fork seal retaining rings, which have been shaped to mimic the current crop of Chanel watch bezels, while the speedo itself looks like a Chanel watch. The address of Coco Chanel's apartment, 31 Rue Cambon, is emblazoned on the Featherbed frame (surrounded by a midnight-with-starry-sky paint job) - perhaps more immediately a reference to the new Chanel magazine of the same name. And 'Chanel' supplants 'Triumph' on the engine cases!

Models Lara Stone and Baptiste Giacobini were draped all over the bike, which they didn't ride (too bad, I hear from it's creators that it sounds great and goes like stink). Karl Lagerfeld, the infamous Creative Director of Chanel, was content to pose near his new motorcycle, which, unfortunately, he has no intention of reproducing. While used as a prop for advertising, the Chanel Triton was built to run... and methinks one day, when an Art Director has barked his shin once too many times on that damn bike, some lucky fellow will indeed take it home and ride it.

In the now-it-can-almost-be-told category, I've added two few further glimpses of the machine, which is built, according to the WWD press on the bike, 'in Toulouse' (which I can confirm), by several gentlemen with great creative and technical skills, whose work has graced the pages of the Vintagent in previous posts. Look for it soon, not in Classic Bike, but on the pages of Vogue.

8 comments:

knossos said...

what is the story with the front tire?

Don OReilly said...

that is a beautiful bike, I can't imagine what a thrill it must be to go through the gears.

embracing the 60's chic of it all, Lara's showing lotsa leg, and Karl appears to be channeling Andy Warhol...
man, the things they do in Paris!

Don O'Reilly said...

looking a bit closer (not at the legs), what type of brake is up front? I think I can see a lever on the right, but if there is a front brake, (how small can it be?) it looks like that motor will stress it out, in a new york minute...

Fashion Serial Killer with Glasses said...

Lara stone is such a FOX... nice photos of the bike as well.

Grandpa Jimbo said...

This motorcycle, while a genuine art piece of extraordnary style and assembly, is not even close to resembling Marlin Brando's Triumph (which was not a low rider, by the way). Brando's Triumph was a fairly stock looker with western bars (not clip-ons) and had after market mufflers which added power but not a lot of noise. Even a genuine Triton (Triumph engine/gearbox etc.. in a Norton Featherbed frame) is recognized only by the motor itself and the actual frame tubing. Everything else is pure art; truly amazing but hardly the real thing.
i rmn & etc.. Jim A. Sunny and very cold in Tucson, AZ

vintagent said...

Hi Jim,

I certainly never compared the Triton to Brando's totally stock Thunderbird in the Wild One, but some of the ignorant fashion press did, calling it a 'chopper' and 'Brando bike'. I've included links to these articles as they say much about the mindset of the public (or at least, breathless fashion bloggers!) regarding motorcycles.

Such commentary indicates how far we must travel for motorcycles (factory or custom) to be seen as design objects on par with haute couture.

The Art of the Motorcycle exhibit was a start, but we must continue banging on the doors of the Academy!

pd'o

Johnny T said...

I'd drive the Chanel Triton on sunny day's and a Pierre Cardin Javelin on rainy days.

Noel - Tricycles For Adults said...

This is a beautiful masterpiece. Totally gorgeous and classy.