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May 29, 2015

Intimate Photos of Three Weeks in the Life of French Designer Coco Chanel in 1962

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (1883-1971) is a fashion icon unlike any other. She invented modern clothing for women: At the height of the Belle Époque, she stripped women of their corsets and feathers, bobbed their hair, put them in bathing suits, and sent them out to get tanned in the sun. She introduced slacks, costume jewelry, and the exquisitely comfortable suit. She made the first couture parfum, Chanel No. 5, which remains the most popular scent ever created.

In 1962, at the age of 27, Douglas Kirkland received an assignment from LOOK Magazine to photograph Coco Chanel for a story on the legendary fashion icon. For a period of three weeks, Kirkland shadowed Mademoiselle Chanel capturing her intense schedule and daily routine with models, fitters, clients and friends. In order to gain her trust and approval, Chanel instructed Kirkland to initially photograph models wearing her collection and submit the prints for her review. Chanel was so taken with the young man and his photographic skill; she allowed him access to her private rooms, surveying her everyday movements.

Coco Chanel and Douglas Kirkland

(All images from: Coco Chanel: Three Weeks/1962 by Douglas Kirkland, © 2008, published by Glitterati.)


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