Melissa Faithful for Art-Sheep

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel is one of history’s greatest entrepreneurs, fashion icons and inspiring people. Having invented the way modern women should dress and having created probably the biggest fashion label in the world, Chanel is definitely a fashion innovator. She styled women who until then were still wearing feathers and corsets, putting them in bathing suits and little black dresses, while Chanel No. 5, the first couture parfum, was launched by Chanel almost 100 years ago and remains the most popular scent ever created until now.

In 1962, LOOK Magazine assigned a 27-year-old Douglas Kirkland to shadow Coco Chanel for a feature on the legendary designer. Mademoiselle Chanel was obviously not so willing to allow an aspiring photographer to follow her every move, and gave him a project to help him prove his worth. After photographing models wearing her collection, Kirkland had to submit the prints for the designer’s review and wait for her approval. After seeing these prints, Chanel was so taken with Kirkland’s photographic skills that now only did she let him take her portraits, but also gave him access to her private rooms, surveying her everyday life for a period of three weeks.


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