Chanel le Rouge No 1

Chanel – where red is always in fashion

Coco Chanel’s most famous creation might be the Little Black Dress, but the company is also indelibly associated with another hue – red. For Chanel herself it was “the colour of life, of blood,” and to this day the fashion house celebrates red as one of the corner-stones of the brand’s style. Now Lucia Pica, the brand’s Global Creative, Make-up and Colour Designer, has launched her first ever cosmetics collection for the company using the many hues and associations of this dramatic colour. “This collection is very much about femininity,” she says, “and its strength, its vulnerability, its sensuality. Mademoiselle Chanel used to say ‘put your red lipstick on and attack’ which I find very inspiring as a woman.”

Chanel le Rouge No 1

In preparation for the new Le Rouge Collection No1, Pica assembled mood boards that drew on her own life-long passion for red, a colour she herself sees as one “that has both a sense of the real and the radical about it.” The images she has selected, and a film commissioned to expand on these, features many versions of red and what it can mean, from mysterious plumes of red smoke to the other-worldly blood red of call lilies.

Chanel le Rouge No 1

Pica’s self-confession obsession with red is also woven through her own Instagram account, where red features heavily in many different guises. We took a trawl to pick up on the inspiration behind the new collection – which is also perfect for some autumn-winter interiors inspiration, ideal for heating up the home and adding a touch of pouty, Parisienne glamour to any room.

Chanel le Rouge No 1

The shade shows up time and again, but in different guises – architectural, cosmetic, typographic or even edible. The only recurring theme is that billowing red smoke, evoking both lips and a sense of the mysterious. We love the associations of red with appetite too – making it a perfect if unconventional shade for a dining room this season.

Lucia Pica

To see the full film about Pica’s red touchstones, visit Chanel’s website.

Ros Anderson


Ros Anderson is an interiors journalist and blogger who has worked for The Guardian, Elle Decoration, Ideal Home and many more. In 2009 she co-founded cult interiors blog My Friend's House with Jill Macnair, as a place to write about design in a more honest, spontaneous and humorous way.

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