Archive

28 February until 18 May 2014
The Chanel Legend

Coco Chanel (1883-1971) is one of the most eminent couturiers of the twentieth century.  She already appears as an advocate of simple, comfortable clothes in the years just after 1910, thus helping to pave the way for a style which has retained its major importance in the fashion world till today. Such outstanding fashion classics as the “little black dress”, the Chanel Suit and the Chanel handbag are inseparably linked with her person. Since her start-up in 1913, Chanel has built up an international and, till the present day, astoundingly successful fashion empire. Coco – her real name was Gabrielle – Chanel launched her perfume “Chanel N° 5”, whose overwhelming commercial success  guaranteed her a financial independence which was to last all her life, at the beginning of the 1920s. She combined fashion jewellery and genuine gemstones with surefooted confidence and had herself portrayed by celebrity photographers such as Man Ray or Horst P. Horst. “The Chanel Legend” investigates why it is that the person of Coco Chanel and the brand she established have attracted such huge attention up to and including the present, which is also due to the brilliant achievement of Karl Lagerfeld in combining this legacy with the fluctuating currents of contemporary taste since 1983.  The exhibition shows a total of more than 150 objects from eminent collections, including women’s suits, accessoires, jewellery, historical photographs and over 100 fashion magazines spanning a period from 1920 to1971. Besides more than 75 original garments and jewellery creations by Coco Chanel, over 35 adaptions of the Chanel classics can be seen for the first time, which in their own individual way give us a new appreciation of the “Chanel Legend”. The exhibition was conceived by the Draiflessen Collection, Mettingen. The exhibition in Hamburg is made possible with the kind support of the Karin Stilke Stiftung.

Ill.: Horst P. Horst, Coco Chanel, 1937, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg