Karl Lagerfeld, Carine Roitfeld and More Turn Out for the New York Opening of Chanel's 'Little Black Jacket' Exhibit

When Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld are behind an event, everyone in fashion shows up looking as effortlessly chic as possible. And that's exactly what happened at last night's New York opening of "The Little Black Jacket: Chanel's classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld." Neither rain nor the treacherous cobblestones outside of 18 Wooster Street, where the exhibit is located, could stop celebs like Mad Men's Jessica Paré (who seems to be fashion's favorite new celeb), Lily Collins and Pharrell Williams; too many models to count (but including Joan Smalls, Crystal Renn, and Dree Hemingway); and of course, Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld from turning out. The exhibit, which already touched down in Tokyo, features photos from the book of the same name, in which Carine Roitfeld styled and Karl Lagerfeld photographed models, muses and celebrities wearing Chanel's iconic little black jacket. For the New York exhibit, the photos (113 of them) are displayed in black and white covering one enormous wall, and blown up in color on the opposite one. So basically everywhere you turn, there's a compelling, gorgeous photograph of some beautiful famous person wearing a Chanel jacket in way you never expected. It's impossible not to play pick your favorite (Uma Thurman, Anna Wintour, and Sofia Coppola were among mine).
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Leah Chernikoff
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When Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld are behind an event, everyone in fashion shows up looking as effortlessly chic as possible. And that's exactly what happened at last night's New York opening of "The Little Black Jacket: Chanel's classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld." Neither rain nor the treacherous cobblestones outside of 18 Wooster Street, where the exhibit is located, could stop celebs like Mad Men's Jessica Paré (who seems to be fashion's favorite new celeb), Lily Collins and Pharrell Williams; too many models to count (but including Joan Smalls, Crystal Renn, and Dree Hemingway); and of course, Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld from turning out. The exhibit, which already touched down in Tokyo, features photos from the book of the same name, in which Carine Roitfeld styled and Karl Lagerfeld photographed models, muses and celebrities wearing Chanel's iconic little black jacket. For the New York exhibit, the photos (113 of them) are displayed in black and white covering one enormous wall, and blown up in color on the opposite one. So basically everywhere you turn, there's a compelling, gorgeous photograph of some beautiful famous person wearing a Chanel jacket in way you never expected. It's impossible not to play pick your favorite (Uma Thurman, Anna Wintour, and Sofia Coppola were among mine).
Photo: Getty

Photo: Getty

Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld are behind an event, everyone in fashion shows up looking as effortlessly chic as possible. And that's exactly what happened at last night's New York opening of "The Little Black Jacket: Chanel's classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld." Neither rain nor the treacherous cobblestones outside of 18 Wooster Street, where the exhibit is located, could stop celebs like Mad Men's Jessica Paré (who seems to be fashion's favorite new celeb), Lily Collins and Pharrell Williams; too many models to count (but including Joan Smalls, Crystal Renn, and Dree Hemingway); and of course, Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld, from turning out.

The exhibit, which already touched down in Tokyo, features photos from the book of the same name, in which Carine Roitfeld styled and Karl Lagerfeld photographed models, muses and celebrities wearing Chanel's iconic little black jacket. For the New York exhibit, the photos (113 of them) are displayed in black and white covering one enormous wall, and blown up in color on the opposite one. So basically everywhere you turn, there's a compelling, gorgeous photograph of some beautiful famous person wearing a Chanel jacket in way you never expected. It's impossible not to play pick your favorite (Uma Thurman, Anna Wintour, and Sofia Coppola were among mine). A special room downstairs plays a video of Yoko Ono dancing in her LBJ. The exhibit will be open at 18 Wooster St. in Soho from June 8 through the 15th. So give your wallet a break on your next Soho shopping trip and stop by.

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We caught up with Joan Smalls, who excitedly pointed out to us that her little black jacket photo was the invitation to last night's soiree, to ask what is was like to be a part of the project and work with two of the industry's finest.

"It was so easy going," Smalls told us of the photo shoot. "They already knew what they wanted for each person because they already have a sense of the personality and then they just built [the photo] through that. Carine is a master at what she does. And the shoot only lasts like 20 minutes because when [Karl] knows he has it, there's no point in reshooting because he has that eye. It's a great experience to work with someone who is so iconic. He's a jack of all trades. He knows how to do everything."

As for how she was styled--with the Chanel jacket twisted around her as a bra top and wrap skirt, she said "I guess being Latin they wanted to make sure I had less clothing on...it was very tropical-chic."

Then we spotted Pharrell, making his second stop on the fashion circuit this week since presenting, bow-tied, at the CFDAs, and since he wasn't featured in the exhibit, we wondered, how would he wear the iconic Chanel piece?

"Probably no shirt, jacket, jewelry speckled all over the place and I would look into the camera as if I don't care but knowing that I do," he said. We think that works.

Click through to see images of all the fancy people at last night's opening, plus shots of the exhibit itself. Now get yourself to 18 Wooster!

Photos: BFA