Coco Chanel – The Legend and the Life

14 Sep 2010, Posted by Emily Jerman in Fashion News, No Comments. Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Coco Chanel – The Legend and the Life


Its a pretty strong title. Luckily its a pretty strong book. I had the enormous pleasure of being invited to meet Justine Picardie, the author, to sit and discuss her new book on this great woman. I walked into our venue expecting the usual throng of people chatting away, but as I approached I could not hear the many voices, but just one. Justine’s. I, like many, have seen many features on Chanel recently, and you may think what more can you learn. A great deal more as it turns out.

Black and white, key palette colours from Chanel could link back into her childhood from the Nuns that surrounded her at the orphanage. The dislike of the corset and how it returned after the war as the new silhouette, undoing all of her previous work at breaking through the barriers of thinking how to dress a woman. How House of Chanel ceased trading in the war, save for the lone lady in Paris selling Chanel No.5, all this to deny Nazi occupation of the business……

I could go on and I know those of us sitting in the room would gladly have left our appointments for the rest of the day and sat and listened for hours. The extraordinary depth to which this book goes into, illustrates the work and thought that has been poured into this book. The majority of the photographs in this book are from private libraries, unseen before, the front and back covers have special illustrations from Karl Largerfeld, and the family of Coco Chanel personally endorsed the project. It really is quite something.

Here I was sitting in group no more than 10, from various online sites including Vogue, Stylist, Milk, Love and Fashions most wanted a very intimate affair. Glimpsing into a private world of Justine’s as she passionately explained the research and processes behind the story she is telling. It was very special and I am thrilled I was able to be a part of it. The book launches this Thursday and the following Thursday you can meet Justine as she will be in Waterstones on High St Kensington, to discuss the book. I urge you to go along – but be warned, you will want to stay for hours, so don’t plan anything else for the evening. Fashion week is fast approaching, an extremely busy time of year but I have this book winking at me in the corner and I would love to curl up, close the curtains and devour its contents. So for now it has to be hidden.

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