Everything has been said, written, and filmed about Chanel for four decades now-everything, that is, except the landscape of her private world, her beliefs and inspirations, her attachment to symbolism, spiritualism, and esotericism, to literature and poetry, to the men whom she loved, and above all to her family.
-Isabelle Fiemeyer, Preface, Intimate Chanel
Intimate Chanel, by Isabelle Fiemeyer, is one of the many books coming out this fall telling the story of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s life and as the title suggests it tells a very intimate tale indeed. What differentiates Intimate Chanel from other biographies is the role of Gabrielle Palasse-Labrunie – Chanel’s only direct descendant. Not only did Gabrielle Palasse-Labrunie write the forward, but many passages of the book are actual quotes where she recounts private conversations between herself and Coco Chanel – presenting us with “Auntie Coco” a woman very different from Coco Chanel’s public persona.
The gorgeous photographs of Francis Hammond also make Intimate Chanel a very in-depth account of the life of Coco Chanel. Hammond took photos of Chanel’s personal effects – many never seen before or published – including items from Coco Chanel’s personal wardrobe, her jewels, gifts given to her from the men in her life, favorite furniture pieces, family photos and books with personal inscriptions. These haunting images together with the passages in Gabrielle Palasse-Labrunie’s own voice truly makes this a personal account of Coco Chanel’s life.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Intimate Chanel and zipped through it in a matter of hours but I know that I will go back to it often to look at the inspiring images. Intimate Chanel would make a lovely gift for a Chanelphile or a gorgeous addition to any Chanel collection. You can purchase Intimate Chanel by Isabelle Fiemeyer on Amazon.com.