Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Karl Lagerfeld has once again drawn on the allure of a vintage motorcycle for Chanel's advertising.  Last Spring he used the amazing 'Chanel' Triton  as a prop in his short and quizzical film about , it seemed, the joy of shoplifting Chanel clothes on a cool bike (see the video here).

Yesterday in Paris, Keira Knightley was spotted on a rolling rig, 'riding' a '74 Ducati 750 Sport, which had been painted tan to match her suede catsuit and Ruby helmet.  While the Duc's tan paint job made me lose my Chianti, I was curious about the color of the helmet, so spoke with Jerôme Coste of Les Ateliers Ruby, who explained:
                                       (note Keira's body double in the background)

"Regarding the Chanel commercial, I don't know every detail yet, but I can tell you that this helmet is the Ruby 'Belvedere Marceau' from my Autumn-Winter 2009/10 collection. The story is quite funny - at least to me - as this helmet with its "nude" colour was a tribute to Yves Saint-Laurent's work (the Maison YSL has been for years been located on rue Marceau, hence its name).  It was created beside the 'Pavillon Cambon', named after the long time address of Maison Chanel - but that was a powder pink. Anyway Keira's is a stock helmet, but the story doesn't say if Chanel cut Kiera's suede catsuit and painted the Ducati to match the Ruby helmet nude colour ?!"

By chance, well-known blogger and motorcycle personality Jacqui van Ham (of 'The Vintage Advantage') passed through San Francisco today on a long motorcycle journey from her home in Kentucky to Los Angeles, and back, via Sturges and Bonneville, on her trusty 1972 BMW R75/5 'Toaster Tank'.  Jacqui qualifies as a Real Rider, putting up serious mileage on a vintage motorcycle - solo - and always manages to look great despite the heat, dirt, and bugs of a long ride with an open-face helmet...also a Ruby.  A light bulb went off in my head - wouldn't it be fun to match her black helmet and riding gear with a black 1974 Ducati 750 café racer?

No big crew, nothing to advertise, but Jacqui is a real motorcyclist, who looks terrific with the Ducati.  The Keira Knightley photo shoot will surely become an alluring fantasy in Chanel print ads...

...but Keira can't ride....

...while women who can and do, like Jacqui, rock my world.

[A note on the  black Ducati; its a 1974 750 GT which has been tuned past 'Sport' spec with Venolia pistons and 36mm Dell'Orto carbs, with twin Scarab discs up front, 750 Sport seat, rearsets, clip-ons, controls, and instruments, with a Laverda SFC fairing.  It used to be mine, is an excellent fast roadster, and is currently for sale, contact me if you're interested.

The Chanel bike looks to be an early 750 Sport - ca.'72, with black primary cover - and an SS fairing...painted tan!]

Thanks Jacqui for indulging my inspiration in the middle of your road trip! 


pipsqeek said...

There's only one thing better than seeing a nice classic Duke. One being ridden by a very attractive woman.

Missing a Mind said...

Hey I met and had a GREAT conversation with Jacqui a few weeks ago at the Cretin Clubhouse.

If ya do read this, Jacqui, thanks for the tips and I'm gettin' the GPS and cotton free riding wear. You were great. Cheers!


oh and nice post, PdO

Stephen said...

Isn't that them filming for the next "Avengers" remake?
The Keira Knightly one that is... (I don't think my 'old lady' is in the movie. Maybe as the villain!!?!!).

YJH said...

Paul, the stunt girl behind Keira looks beautiful and I guess she can ride seriously : ah voilà une belle inconnue !

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul
I'm one of your FB followers and also an avid motorcyclist.
Earlier this year, inspired by the exploits of Jacqui Van Ham, I shipped a motorcycle to Europe and spent two months exploring Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, Corsica, France, The Netherlands and England.
I took a lot of pictures of bikes in the Deutsches Zweirad Museum in Neckarsulm and also in the Sammy Miller Museum in New Milton UK.

Fred R

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,
Great website. Congrats on the Cycle World article. I enjoyed it.

I have a 1926 Harley J model and a 1928 Indian short frame Scout. When I was first getting going, I found that old textbooks were helpful to understand what the engineering practices were at the time and why, whether it was because of materials, fuels, ect.

Anyways, thought you might be interested. I regularly check out the Vintagent for new material.


Steve M

Anonymous said...

Excellent texte de Paul d'Orleans à la suite des images d'un futur spot Chanel qui montre deux trailer queens...

Anonymous said...

nice article Paul... saw the Kira pics an i too was a little deflated...much better now. Jaquis smokin

Anonymous said...

Glad I wasn't the only one annoyed by the Keira pics. Jacqui rocks!
Susan S.R.

Anonymous said...

Atta girl Jacqui. Nice work on getting the patch in there!

Eric A.

Anonymous said...

Jacqui is COOL!

Kelley D.

Anonymous said...

Go Go! Jacqui!

Nicholas Franz H.

Anonymous said...

Ah, elles sont superbes!!

Pascal P.

Anonymous said...

I met Jacqui last month at the Bonneville Speedway. Since our encounter, I bet she must have done at least 4,000 miles riding her BMW. Hey Jacqui, you are beautiful !

Southsiders M.C.

Conchscooter said...

Strange it is how people think that what you see is what you get in films and photos.If nobody responded to the advertising everybody would be forced to respect actual achievement over sitting on a motorcycle propped up on training wheels.
Kill your TV!

Anonymous said...

Paul, You may well not recall this, but I asked to check on my friends Phil and Sue Brooks from Williamsburg, Va at last years
Pebble Beach Concours. I helped them finish and prepare their 1937 Bentley 4 !/4 VandenPlas roadster for that event. When looking at todays
piece on Ducatis and women riders I checked the connection for The Vintage Advantage. The last photo on the web page shows
my friends Phil and sue at Pebble Beach with the Bentley.
Jacqui is lovely, and I am hopelessly in love.
Keep up the good work,
Cortes P
Richmond, Virginia

Anonymous said...

I have to say that Ruby helmets are the greatest (yes, they live up to the hype...and cost) and Jerome Coste is quite a gentleman. -JZ

FloridaSteve said...

Having met Jacqui a few years back in I can assure you she is NO poseur. Lends a sense of authenticity to the lifestyle that no photo shoot can match.

FloridaSteve said...

Having met Jacqui a few years back in I can assure you she is NO poseur. Lends a sense of authenticity to the lifestyle that no photo shoot can match.

Don O'Reilly said...

that Jacqui is a DOLL!

though I've known a few women riders through the years, and always loved 'em (platonically, sorry to say) I don't ride with any at all these days.

maybe I should put an ad on craigslist....

great, fun post Paul. thanks again for keeping us informed and entertained.



The Vintage Advantage said...

Well, Hello everybody!
Greetings from Amarillo,TX...I am still on the road,homeward bound- But, wanted to say *Thank You* for the cool write up, great pics and kickass comments. Traveling by motorcycle means little room for souviners, So having great pics from these past 6 weeks on the road is fantastic! Will be updating my blog (www.TheVintageAdvatage.com) when I get home,Stay Tuned!
Jacqui Van Ham