Friday, May 08, 2015

Book Spotlight: Coco Chanel: Three Weeks/1962

I've always been interested in fashion from a very early age. When I was a little girl, I spent many Sunday afternoons watching classic movies from the 1940s and 50s. They were from a bygone era for a seventies child like myself, but I was a great fan. I loved the storytelling, but what I really loved was the fashion. The beautiful evening gowns, the wonderfully tailored suits, and the elegant dresses were style perfection. My love for a beautifully crafted piece of clothing continues to this day.


Douglas Kirkland - photo by Owen Roizman

In the book, Coco Chanel: Three Weeks/1962, by Douglas Kirkland, published by Glitterati Incorporated, the iconic designer Coco Chanel is celebrated for the elegant style that she brought to the world. This is an interesting look at the woman who transformed contemporary fashion. Photographer Douglas Kirkland was sent to Paris on assignment for LOOK Magazine and he had the opportunity to spend three weeks in her company. Through his photographs, Kirkland gives readers an intimate and unique glimpse into the world of this legendary designer.

Page 121: From Coco Chanel: Three Weeks/1962 by Douglas Kirkland, © 2008, 
published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com

I loved the little details shared, such as why she liked to be called 'Mademoiselle'. When Kirkland asked one of his colleagues about this he was told:

"Normally a woman her age would be addressed as 'Madame,' whether married or not...Chanel, a fiercely independent woman, wanted to prove that she was above the system and didn't need marriage or a relationship to a man to be successful."
From Coco Chanel: Three Weeks/1962 by Douglas Kirkland, © 2008, published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com

Page 71: From Coco Chanel: Three Weeks/1962 by Douglas Kirkland, © 2008,
 published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com

Pages 88-89: From Coco Chanel: Three Weeks/1962 by Douglas Kirkland, © 2008,
 published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com


One thing that has stuck with me after reading the book is that it shows just how independent Chanel was indeed. She was a woman who knew what she wanted and was not shy about giving her opinions.

Coco Chanel revolutionized modern clothing for women and made a lasting impression in numerous ways. It would be difficult to list them all, but a few of them are:

* creating styles that accentuated women's bodies...she wanted the female form to be visible

* introducing well-made costume jewelry

* creating her classic iconic suit

* creating Chanel No. 5 perfume



Page 23
From Coco Chanel: Three Weeks/1962 by Douglas Kirkland, © 2008,
 published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com
Page 141: From Coco Chanel: Three Weeks/1962 by Douglas Kirkland, © 2008, 
published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com


Her contributions to fashion are endless and her innovations were so integral to fashion that now we simply see them as classic fashion staples. They are woven into the fabric of fashion overall.

"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening."
- Coco Chanel
From Coco Chanel: Three Weeks/1962 by Douglas Kirkland, © 2008, 
published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com

There is a foreword by Judith Thurman which beautifully puts the relationship between Kirkland and Chanel during this time into context. Readers are also given touching reflections from Douglas Kirkland himself in the introduction to this exquisite collection of photographs. There are also various quotes by Coco Chanel sprinkled throughout.

Page 135: From Coco Chanel: Three Weeks/1962 by Douglas Kirkland, © 2008, 
published by Glitterati Incorporated www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com

This book is a treat for those who love fashion and the study of iconic designers like Coco Chanel. However, it is also a visual treat for lovers of amazing photography. Douglas Kirkland is a renowned photographer who does a wonderful job of capturing the unique characteristics about people through the lens of his camera. I have featured other books by him here and I must say I really do enjoy his work. I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful book.

Coco Chanel: Three Weeks/1962 can be purchased here.

 *Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

2 comments:

TheGoldenGoddess said...

I loved reading this post, Dori! Your writing style is engaging, welcoming, clear and beautiful. I may be repeating myself, but it is an invitation to stay and read a while, to be in your thoughts, where the world is an amazing place!

That Coco Chanel was an iconoclastic legend! Though I have ever known of her, I've not been privy to such an intimate view of her until reading this post. That first quote about her wanting to be addressed in the way that pleased her---and for her unique reason---charmed me! I love it! Thank you!

Because my mother and aunts were fashion divas in their own time, I consider myself a fashionista myself! :D

Mucho amor a ti y Brit Boy!!

Claudia

Dori P said...

Claudia,
Thank you for your wonderful comment and I'm so pleased that you enjoyed this post :) Your sincerity warms my heart.

Yes, I was so intrigued to get this closer look at this iconic woman. It was a treat to be able to share this book here :) I love that you're a fashionista in a long line of fashionistas!

Thank you and much love to you and your family too :)