Coco Chanel’s Secrets… Topshop’s Newest Partner…

Biographer Lisa Chaney claims to have evidence that the designer used drugs, embraced bisexuality and had an affair with Salvador Dalí.

COCO SECRETS: The highs and lows of Coco Chanel’s life have inspired numerous authors to put pen to paper. With this fall’s release of “Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life,” biographer Lisa Chaney claims to have concrete evidence that the designer used drugs, embraced bisexuality and had an affair with Salvador Dalí while he was married. In an e-mail sent Thursday by her Viking publicist, Chaney claims to have accessed documents in the Swiss Federal Archives among other publications that prove Chanel’s German lover Hans Günther von Dincklage spied for the Nazis throughout World War II. “Whether Chanel was aware of this is unknown, but after that war she lived in neutral Switzerland for a while, to avoid any proceedings against her,” the e-mail continued.

The publicist declined an interview request with Chaney, offering to arrange one closer to the 387-page tome’s November publication date.

This story first appeared in the August 1, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

TOPSHOP’S NEWEST PARTNER: British retailer Topshop is collaborating with eco-conscious wool company Izzy Lane to create three styles of higher-priced coats making their debut this fall at the British retailer’s second U.S. store, which is set to open in Chicago in September. The three limited edition coats range in price from $400 for a collarless beige wool coat with faux leather trim to $510 for a feminine tweed skirted coat with detachable black faux-fur collar. “We are always looking for new ethical manufacturers and fabrics to work with,” said Topshop designer director Jacqui Markham, referring to Izzy Lane, which provides a home for hundreds of sheep that otherwise would have been slaughtered. “Izzy Lane wool is perfect for those with a love of luxury as well as a social conscience.” Roughly 150 pieces of each style will be produced and carried first at Topshop in Chicago and then at its U.K. stores.

GREEN ACRES: Mother Earth was the guest of honor on Thursday night at Lancaster House in London, at a dinner given by the New York-based eco-entrepreneur Keith Yoo. Yoo, whose family produces organic green tea, wool, edible lavender and olive oil on their North American farms, hosted a dinner to mark the opening of Prince Charles’ celebration of all things organic and eco-friendly at Clarence House. “When I first read that Prince Charles had opened an organic shop at Highgrove [his country estate], I was puzzled — I mean, does he need the money? — and then I thought it was the greatest thing he could have done, to promote organic products,” said Yoo. On display in the Clarence House garden is the Aston Martin Volante that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge drove on their wedding day in April. It runs on bioethanol fuel made from wine wastage. Also on show is a prototype zero-carbon emissions hotel suite and a shipping container transformed into a gallery space. An “eco-rally” was set to take place on The Mall on Sunday.

ELLA MOSS TURNS 10: VF Corp.-owned contemporary label Ella Moss celebrated a decade in business Thursday at West Hollywood hot spot Eveleigh. Pamella Protzel-Scott, co-creator and creative director, designed a 13-piece capsule collection, including a remake of the striped Modal dress Sarah Jessica Parker made famous on “Sex and the City.” The brand, which will open its first store in Newport Beach, Calif., in September, will launch a shoe collection for fall 2012 and expand into bags, home decor and possibly bridal. Celebrities who turned out in Ella Moss included Nicole Richie, Ashley Greene, Paula Patton, Busy Philipps and Dianna Agron. Richie, who is preparing for reality TV show “Fashion Star,” said of her maxidress, “I love it. It’s so easy and supercomfortable,” while Patton, wearing a floral chiffon minidress, chatted about her upcoming role in “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.”

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