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The Vocabulary of Style

Jérôme Gautier


The creative brilliance of Chanel - from Coco Chanel herself to Karl Lagerfeld - as seen by the greatest photographers of their times


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.

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'A sumptuous book that links the couture house’s past classics to its present collections'
Harper’s Bazaar

'It is the pairing of classic and contemporary photographs, that makes this book unique, and most effectively illustrates the simplicity of Chanel’s work that allows it to be endlessly reinterpreted afresh... a rewarding testament to the most iconic of design houses, and of women'
The Scotsman

'Innovative … vibrant and telling … a highly detailed and informative pictorial biography on the legend that is Coco Chanel'
f22 Magazine

'A visual feast'
ASOS Magazine

'Intriguing and stunningly beautiful'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 32.0 x 24.0 cm

Extent: 304 pp

Publication date: 31 October 2011

ISBN: 9780500515815

About the Author

Jérôme Gautier is a designer and fashion historian. He curated ‘Chanel, l’Art comme Univers’ at Moscow’s Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in 2007.

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