Sissi and CC: Chanel’s Latest Muse
Chanel’s Pre Fall 2015 muse is almost two hundred years old and one of the most infamous divas in history. Empress Elizabeth of Austria, known to her friends and family as ‘Sissi’ (or ‘CC’ as Pharrell sings to Cara Delevingne in the “Reincarnation” video) and the muse behind Chanel’s ‘Salzburg’ collection was considered to one of the most beautiful women of her time. If she were alive today, Sissi, at 5 feet 8 inches and 110 pounds could’ve walked the Chanel runway herself.
Her famous wasp-waist figure was a thing of legend. The empress equipped each one of her family’s castles with a gym, something not exactly common for that era, especially for women. She was an exercise fanatic (so much so that some historians link it to an eating disorder). Well, clothing certainly looked spectacular on her.
To keep up with her beauty’s legendary status, Sissi would devote up to eight hours a day to her haircare. Her hairdresser was required to wear white gloves when dressing and braiding her hair. Any hair that fell out was presented in a silver bowl for empress’s inspection, for whatever reason. Her tresses were washed every two weeks with special concoction of eggs and cognac.
The empress was just as meticulous about her skincare. She used ‘Crème Céleste’, a mixture of white white wax, spermaceti (yes, from a whale), sweet almond oil, and rosewater and slept upright to prevent skin sagging, sometimes with a raw veal meat mask over her face. Overnight, she would wrap her waist with cedar vinegar-soaked linens, to preserve her slim waist.
Once this high-maintenance diva turned thirty-two, she refused to sit for any more portraits so that the public would remember her eternally as a young beauty. A vain, pretty thing, but definitely worthy of being a Chanel muse.