However being laid up in bed does have it's advantages I have had the opportunity to read Justine Picardie's wonderful new book Coco Chanel The Legend And The Life.
When the book arrived before I left for the UK, I was already impressed, the book is beautiful, wonderfully laid out with over two hundred images, some never published before and ten wonderful, exclusive illustrations by Karl Lagerfeld.
I have read countless articles and books on Coco Chanel and seen various films and documentaries most of which have been on the French Arte Channel. I wondered how Justine could possibly top everything that is already out there. But she has done it, I feel as if Justine has taken me by the hand, out of my duvet, strewn with tissues environment and transported me into the glittering crystal world of Chanel.
Coco By Horst
Coco By Cecil Beaton
I love the way the images and illustrations run through the book rather than the usual few pages in the middle, which one has to keep flicking to in most biographies, every image and illustration has been carefully thought through, which brings each chapter to life.
Coco in 1930 at 'La Pausa' her French Riviera Bolthole
Dining with friends, looking fabulous
ThoughtfulThis book is not just a book for fashion lovers or admirers of Chanel it is also a wonderful walk through the history of the twentieth century, encompassing The Edwardian era, First World War, Russian Revolution, The Jazz Age, Second World War, Post War France and into the modern era. With insights into many famous characters, along the way.
Coco With Salvador Dali
After reading Justine's book I have a much greater insight of Chanels character and what made her tick. How the abandonment by her father affected her for the rest of her life, causing her to invent stories to blur the truth and how her time at the orphanage in Aubazine inspired some of her most famous designs. She was complexed with a dark side, inventive, innovative, scathing, generous, a perfectionist, scheming, but above all she was one of the most remarkable women of the twentieth century.
Coco in her apartment, Rue Cambon, Douglas Kirkland
Coco Working, Douglas Kirkland
Indomitable until the end, Douglas Kirkland
In short I adored Justine's book, it is a beautiful book and wonderfully researched. With the first murmurings of Christmas, I know a lot of my friends will be receiving this book in their Christmas stocking.
Coco Chanel, The Legend And The Life Available Here