Elle, Gabrielle.

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Over the years, I bought a great many books on Coco Chanel. Not only because I’m into fashion, her achievements in fashion are more than just outstanding, she was the designer of the century, there was no competition to question that, Balenciaga surely was an artist, carefully designed perfection-to-wear, he was born to give Mona von Bismarck her raison d’être, and Dior gave the world the New Look, a look so very old now, so very démodé, visited today by millions in a museum in Paris, next to the Mona Lisa, a woman whose mysterious smile has turned into a grimace when it had become that liveless cliché it is today, a smile so rarely if ever smiled back at, merely admired, like moth balled haute couture on mannequins, but Chanel’s iconic inventions live on, they are out, on the streets, they breathe and move, they were born free, copied, reinterpreted, updated, backdated, timeless, but all of that, all these hats, buttons, pearls, fake and real, all these two-tone shoes, suits and little black dresses, all that comfy beige tweed and that refined soft lace, these numbers 5, 19 and 22, olfactory revolutions, all of it bears the same genes. Style galore. We owe it to the little black-haired girl from humble beginnings whose genius outlived it all: the Belle Époque, the wars, the Roaring Twenties, the rise and fall of countries, people and fashions, she met and loved Dukes and Grand Dukes, Englishmen and Russians, she encountered Picasso, Stravinsky, Cocteau, Reverdy, Diaghilev, basically le tout Paris of the last century. Two books by Isabelle Fiemeyer, published by Flammarion in English and French, introduce us to some of the traces such a life left behind, we are allowed a glimpse, however long, of private belongings, on letters and jewels, on golden artifacts and worn clothes – these intimate details are treasures not to be missed.

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4 thoughts on “Elle, Gabrielle.

  1. Thank you for your wonderful comments about Isabelle Fiemeyer’s insightful books which have been translated into 6 languages to date. Isabelle worked closely with Chanel’s family members for several years on both volumes, which gave her access to many objects jewels, clothes and documents from Chanel’s personal archives which are published here for the first time. Flammarion Style & Design Collection loves your blog and Instagram–so many thoughtfully chosen images and comments to brighten every day. Thank you Clovis Sangrail!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I so love the way you write about fashion and style. Beautiful photos too. Coco Chanel is fortunate in having people like you and Isabelle Fiemeyer to pay homage to her immense talent and legacy and I have just placed my order for these stunning books.

    Liked by 1 person

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