Known for her larger-than-life per­sona, Misia Sert en­cour­aged Coco Chanel to re­alise her me­te­oric po­ten­tial and con­tin­ues to in­spire Chanel Fra­grances to­day. By Li Ying Lim.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Beauty -

isia Sert. The artist Jean Cocteau saw her as an eye, im­mor­talised in that car­i­ca­ture he drew off hand with a prom­i­nent dot for the eye. He once said of the Rus­sian-born pi­anist of Pol­ish de­scent: “And there we are face to face with one of those women to whom Stend­hal granted ge­nius.” For Gabrielle Chanel, Sert’s con­fi­dante, part­ner-in-crime, in­génue, and above all, soul mate, she de­scribed her thus: “In a woman n there is ev­ery­thing, and in Misia there is ev­ery sort of woman.” n Chanel there was also pure energy and charisma. Sert saw tal­ent and verve in the young brunette be­fore she ex­ploded onto the fash­ion scene. She was known for such a knack, iden­ti­fy­ing gifted po­ets and elite artists long be­fore they be­came leg­endary. It was she who sug­gested launch­ing an “eau Chanel”. Two years be­fore the cre­ation of N˚5, she reg­is­tered this very trade­mark on be­half of her best friend. he em­braced Chanel as she did her café so­ci­ety friends: Pablo Pi­casso, Cocteau, Igor Stravin­sky, and Bal­lets Russes founder Sergei Di­aghilev. Misia first found Chanel when she was heart­bro­ken over the death of her lover Boy Capel; she brought her to Venice and opened her up to a world of Byzan­tine beauty, glo­ri­ous mu­se­ums, and silken deca­dence, of golden op­u­lence and glit­ter­ing ex­trav­a­gance worn on stage. had this vivid idea of ac­tors or dancers go­ing on stage, and the pow­der on their face, maybe lip­stick and blush. It is the scent of ac­tors.” says Chanel per­fumer Olivier Polge. “My in­spi­ra­tion wasn’t Misia her­self as a per­son, but her role as a turn­ing point in the life of Gabrielle Chanel.” Misia was a vi­sion­ary of the arts; hence the hints of boudoir pow­der in the scent. nd so Polge built upon that vi­sion, to cre­ate Les Ex­clusifs de Chanel Le Misia. Vi­o­let takes cen­tre stage, sur­rounded by rose, iris, and tonka bean. Call­ing to mind el­e­gant pirou­ettes and vel­vet cur­tains, Le Misia is all se­duc­tion and mys­tery, de­signed for a woman of strength, grace, and joie de vivre. As nov­el­ist Paul Mo­rand once wrote, “And then Misia is Misia, some­one with no equal and, as Proust says, a mon­u­ment … ” Avail­able ex­clu­sively at Chanel Es­pace Parfum, Suria KLCC. Chanel Les Ex­clusifs de Chanel Le Misia EDT, RM562 (75ml) & RM950 (200ml)

Sert in front of a Veronese can­vas in Venice, 1947

Coco Chanel and Misia Sert on the beach at the Lido, Venice, circa 1930

A Bal­lets Russes pro­gramme

Misia’s perf Le um er , O li v i e r P o l g e

Misia’s Eye, 1927, Jean Cocteau

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