Chanel

Chanel

by Harold Koda, Andrew Bolton
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

This splendid book examines the legacy of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, one of the twentieth century's great icons of style. While Chanel mythologized her glamorous life through relentless self-invention, the bare facts of her biography are no less worthy than her legend: born of a poor family in the provinces and raised in a convent, she was an

Overview

This splendid book examines the legacy of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, one of the twentieth century's great icons of style. While Chanel mythologized her glamorous life through relentless self-invention, the bare facts of her biography are no less worthy than her legend: born of a poor family in the provinces and raised in a convent, she was an entertainer and the mistress of men of impeccable social standing, and she began her career not as a dressmaker but as a milliner.

Chanel's enduring influence is necessarily based on the long shadow cast over fashion by her maison couture. Chanel examines the history of the House of Chanel both thematically and chronologically, introducing ideas and elements of biography as they were expressed in her collections. Period examples are juxtaposed with the work of Karl Lagerfeld, who, beginning in 1983, just over ten years after Chanel's death, reinvented and revolutionized the House's identity. It is in Lagerfeld's masterful and often irreverent interpretations of Chanel's work, as well as his mixing of influences from high and low culture, that the historic importance of Chanel and the resonance of her image as the independent, elegant modern woman are both defined and reasserted for the contemporary world.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This stunning book accompanies an exhibition of the same name at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, running until August 7. Short essays by curators Koda and Bolton, other scholars, and current Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld focus on Chanel's modernity as a fashion designer. She was the first to draw from menswear styles and humble materials, making original use of items like tweed jackets and wool jersey. By giving costume jewelry pride of place and mixing it with real jewels, Chanel also subverted the distinction between high and low culture. Lagerfeld, creative director for the House of Chanel since 1983, now appropriates traditional Chanel designs in his own hybrid, postmodern way. While his "double transfer photo art" process further enhances the splendid photographs of the exhibition, the information in the essays is skimpy. More substantial books on Chanel with good illustrations include Edmonde Charles-Roux's Chanel and Her World and Amy de la Haye and Shelley Tobin's Chanel: The Couturiere at Work. Recommended for art and design school libraries for the important visual material.-Sandra Rothenberg, Framingham State Coll. Lib., MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300107135
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
03/11/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 12.00(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Harold Koda is Curator in Charge and Andrew Bolton is Associate Curator of the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Olivier Saillard, of the Musée de la Mode et du Textil, Paris, is a Creative Consultant to The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >