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Eternal Chanel

An Icon's Inspiration

Jean Leymarie

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Jean Leymarie’s classic monograph surveys Chanel’s creative history and evolution within the artistic world of her time


Coco Chanel was a paragon of what it meant to be a thoroughly modern woman decades before the term 'feminism' entered our vocabulary, and her creativity and pioneering spirit account for the great fascination that she continues to exert.

This biographical account does not ignore her revolutionary fashion ideas, but places the spotlight on the remarkable and parallel story of her deep involvements with the avant-garde artists of her day. Whether as a friend, a patron, an influence or a rival, she was a source of magnetic attraction to a host of major cultural figures of the last century, among them Picasso, Stravinsky, Dalí, Diaghilev and Lifar from the world of ballet, and Marlene Dietrich, Romy Schneider and Luchino Visconti from the world of film, many of whom received her discreet support.

Chanel's relationship with the artistic world is further illuminated by the lavish illustrations, which find echoes between her most significant creations, as seen by the finest photographers, and examples of artwork ranging from ancient Egypt to the contemporary works of the Cubists.

Just as artists throughout history have endlessly revisited and reworked timeless archetypes of beauty, Chanel based her designs around enduring basic forms, but through careful and considered changes to the cuts, fabrics and accessories, she forged infinite variations on her themes.

Long out of print, this re-designed edition of Jean Leymarie's clasic monograph is a luxurious, glamorous complement to the literature on Chanel. With pithy quotes from Chanel herself on fashion, society, art and attitudes, and revelatory images that link the modernist spirit with Chanel's unique sense of chic, this will be a prized addition to the library of nearly every fashion aficionado.

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'Chanel is an eternal bomb that none of us can hope to defuse'
Cristóbal Balenciaga

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback with tipped on colour plate to front board (with jacket)

Size: 31.0 x 24.0 cm

Extent: 260 pp

Publication date: 15 November 2010

ISBN: 9780500515532

Contents List

1 Costume, Fashion and Haute Couture • 2 Obazine and Royallieu • 3 Chanel Modes • 4 Deauville and Biarritz • 5 The Jersey Revolution • 6 Meetings • 7 Perfumes • 8 Embroidery • 9 Antigone and Le Train Bleu • 10 Elegance and Simplicity • 11 Orphée • 12 Variations and Curves • 13 London • 14 Hollywood • 15 Interior Decoration and Country Villas • 16 Venice • 17 Jewelry • 18 Refinements and Spectacles • 19 Retirement • 20 The Return Home and Consecration • 21 Presence and Continuity

About the Author

Jean Leymarie (1919–2006) was director of the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris from 1968 to 1973, and director of the French Academy in Rome from 1977 to 1984.