“The story of Chanel is really a story of emotions, of images and words. It is not just a history of fashion. It is more a history of feminine behavior. It is a social history by itself.”
-Jean-Louis Froment, Curator Culture Chanel
Back in October we learned that the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art was hosting Culture Chanel an exhibit featuring items from the life of Chanel and that illustrate her relationship with the arts. With over 400 items, curator Jean-Louis Froment brings us into Chanel’s world as she saw it and places her designs in the larger context of other artistic movements such as painting, music, dance and writing. The exhibit also shows some of the seeds of Mlle. Chanel’s inspiration and shows how mere thoughts and experiences shaped her designs.
Wallpaper* Magazine and WWD had coverage of the event and the images that follow are republished from those sites. This exhibit is a once in a lifetime event: It’s a chronology – culturally and socially – of the influences and designs of Coco Chanel. The exhibit runs through March 14, and I truly hope that it comes to the U.S. I NEED to see this exhibit first hand! Until then, the images below will have to suffice…
**UPDATE 1.23.11 – Culture Chanel has its own site you can visit it here.
Sources: WWD & Wallpaper*
Curator Jean-Louis Froment; Chanel No.5
French actress and Chanel brand ambassador Anna Mouglalis. She also played Coco Chanel in "Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky"
Pablo Picasso display and ink drawing
A photo of Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel in front of one of her many coromandel screens in 1959. Chanel collected coromandel screens but never went to China.
Origin Section of the Exhibit: This part of the exhibit focuses on Chanel's childhood where she spent some time in an orphanage run by nuns in Aubazine.
From left: Original 'Cométe' brooch, created by Gabrielle Chanel for her exhibition 'Bijoux de Diamants', 1932, © Photo Didier Roy Pen and ink image taken from pavement of the abbey of Aubazine, the orphanage where Gabrielle Chanel lived, 1996, © Alexandre Céalac 1965 - 1980 Haute Couture collection, © Photo Olivier Saillant
From left: Half-Length portrait of Catherine de' Medici, by Francois Clouet, 16th century, © RMN (Domaine de Chantilly) / René-Gabriel Ojéda Gabrielle Chanel with a white collaret by George Hoyningen-Huene, 1939, © Horst Carmen Kass wearing an outfit from Chanel's 2009 Autumn/Winter ready-to-Wear collection, by Dusan Reljin, © Dusan Reljin
From Left: Costume design for Potiphar's wife in 'Joseph's Legend' by Léon Bakst, 1914, © Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Theater and Dance Collection, don de Madame Adolph B. Spreckels Gabrielle Chanel in front of the Coromandel screens of her apartment at 31 rue Cambon, Paris by Boris Lipnitzki, 1937, © Lipnitzki/Roger-Viollet The ‘Coromandel’ coat by Karl Lagerfeld for the 1996 Autumn/Winter Chanel Haute Couture collection, © Photo Karl Lagerfeld
From Left: Portrait of Gabrielle Chanel with her dog, Gigot, at her villa ‘La Pausa’, in Roquebrune, France, circa 1930, from Collection Chanel, Paris, © D.R 'Acrobats' by Pablo Picasso, 1905, © Collection Marina Picasso/Courtesy Galerie Jan Krugier & Cie, Genève (Suisse)/Succession, Picasso 2010 Barbara Palvin wearing an outfit from CHANEL’s 2010 Spring/Summer Ready-to-Wear collection by Martin Lidell, © D.R
Chanel Iconography - The Camelia: From Left: Marcel Proust in the garden of Reynaldo Hahn, Photographe Inconnu, 1905, © Snark/Art Resource, NY ‘The Lady of the Camellias’ printed book, Alexandre Dumas Fils, 1858, © Musée de la Dame aux Camélias Amber Valletta wearing an outfit from Chanel’s 1995 Autumn/Winter Ready-to-Wear collection, © Photo Peter Lindbergh
Chanel Iconography - The Wheat Shaft: From Left: Gabrielle Chanel leaning against a fireplace in her apartment, photo by Cecil Beaton, 1965, © Beaton/Vogue/Condé Nast Archive Ear of Wheat by Salvador Dali, 1947, © Salvador Dali, Fondation Gala-Salvador Dali, ADAGP, Paris 2010 Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel’s 2010 Spring/Summer Ready-to-Wear collection, © Photo Karl Lagerfeld/Chanel
Chanel Iconography - The Number 5: From Left: Cover project for the exhibition catalogue of 1921 by Alexander Rodchenko, © A. Rodchenko & V. Stepanova archive/ADAGP Paris 2010 Bottle of Chanel N°5 perfume, from Collection Chanel, Paris, © Photo Didier Roy ‘The Five Fingers’ musical score by Igor Stravinsky, 1921, from Collection Chanel, Paris, © Copyright 1922 Chester Music Ltd worldwide
From Left: Vogue Paris, 1 November 1926, © Courtesy Vogue Paris 'Figure' by Pablo Picasso, Avignon, © Marina Picasso Collection, courtesy Galerie Jan Krugier & Cie, Geneva / Succession Picasso 2010 Honor Fraser wearing a dress from Chanel’s 1996 Autumn/Winter Ready-to-Wear collection, © photo by Gilles Bensimon
The influcence of the nuns of Aubazine. From Left: Head of ‘La Bernardine’, 15th/16th century sculpture, © Région Limousin. Service de l’Inventaire et du Patrimoine Culturel/Philippe Rivière. Ville de Brive-la-Gaillarde – Musée Labenche d’art et d’histoire Bianca Balti wearing an outfit from Chanel’s 2010 Spring/Summer Ready-to-Wear collection, © Photo Camilla Åkrans Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, 1990 Autumn/Winter Haute Couture collection, © Photo Olivier Saillant
Haute Couture Chanel dress designed by Karl Lagerfeld for the 1990 Fall/Winter Collection. This dress appears to have been inspired by Chanel's love of coromandel screens.