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Inside Chanel

Culture Watch
A new book out from Rizzoli brings us closer to the famous designer than ever before.

There are some things in fashion one never tires of; among them are Lanvin ballet flats, Brunello Cucinelli sweaters and anything imbued with interlocking C’s. So it goes without saying that no matter how many books, films and tributes released to Chanel, we simply cannot get enough.

The latest book from Rizzoli, “Intimate Chanel,” is the most personal account of the life and work of legendary designer Coco Chanel ever told. What sets this volume apart from the many other accounts of Coco Chanel’s life and work, are the details of her most private self: her fondness for symbolism and poetry, the men she loved and her family.

Written by Chanel’s only direct descendent, Gabrielle Palasse-Labrunie (daughter of Chanel’s nephew, Andre Palasse, whom she raised like a son), “Intimate Chanel” is exactly that. We learn about the woman known as Coco Chanel through her close-knit relationship with Labrunie of more than 40 years. In this biography, she opens her doors and shares personal memories of her great-aunt.

This work—divided into five chronological parts, including Chanel’s dark periods—plunges the reader into the private world of Chanel. Photographs of Chanel’s personal effects, many of which have never before been seen or published, include presents from her great love Boy Capel, furniture, favorite jewelry, talismans, clothes, family photographs, rare documents, correspondence and books with personal inscriptions.

In “Intimate Chanel,” Palasse-Labrunie discloses all that was important to her great-aunt and recounts their private conversations, unveiling who her “Auntie Coco” really was: a Chanel who was very different from her public persona.

While we anxiously await the book’s release next month, here’s a look at some of this season’s most hotly anticipated looks from the house that Chanel built.

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