Gabrielle Chanel was, without doubt, the most influential fashion designer of the twentieth century. She was years ahead of her time and her clothes, cuts and accessories have remained eternally chic, creating a look for her era and beyond. Chanel’s influence is demonstrated here by celebrating the key elements that defined and still define her style, through inspired pairings of classic and contemporary photographs.
Putting together fashion plates from Chanel’s own time with the most recent contemporary creations by the house’s visionary designer-in-chief, Karl Lagerfeld, the resonance between archive and contemporary photographs becomes sharp, vibrant and telling.
The vocabulary of Chanel’s style – the little black dress, baroque inspirations, androgynous chic – is revealed and interpreted by comparing original forms from the 1920s with the full range of their later expressions through every fashion era up to today.
Images by the modern greats of fashion photography display the triumphs of one of the world’s most visible and distinctive brands: Edward Steichen, Horst P. Horst, Richard Avedon, Patrick Demarchelier, Karl Lagerfeld, Peter Lindbergh and Mario Testino are among the galaxy of ultra-gifted photographers whose work appears in this volume.