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Chanel Redux

Culture Watch

While some things do go out of print, they never go out of style. Case in point, “Chanel,” by Jean Leymarie (Abrams). Arguably one of the most important books on Coco Chanel, its publication was also a milestone for fashion—it was the first large-format fashion book of its kind at the time in 1989.

The author, Jean Leymarie, was a well known curator and modern art historian, so the very fact that he wrote this book on a fashion designer—even was as prolific as Chanel—legitimized fashion as a fine art.

Completely redesigned by Philippe Apeloig, Leymarie’s classic volume is back in print in English and French. Beginning with a brief history of fashion, Leymarie takes the reader through Chanel’s early days, when she mingled with Jean Cocteau, Igor Stravinsky and Luchino Visconti, through the development of her brand after her death by Karl Lagerfeld. A special essay on Lagerfeld’s contribution to the Chanel legacy, written by Marc Lembron, brings this new edition up to date.

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