In the past two years alone, she’s been the subject of a Lifetime television special starring Shirley MacLaine and of two motion pictures featuring Audrey Tautou and Anna Mouglalis. Now, Coco Chanel is in the spotlight yet again, this time as the topic of a new biography, “Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life,” out today from Harper Collins. If fashion lovers think they’ve already learned all there is to know about the icon, the book’s author, London-based fashion journalist Justine Picardie, maintains she’s covered new ground. “People could say, ‘How on earth could someone British tell the story of one of the greatest French couturiers?’ But I think I was able to offer my own contribution,” says Picardie, who served as features director at British Vogue until 2002 and now writes a style column for The Telegraph. “Nobody had ever looked at [Chanel] within the context of her relations with the British and the Americans, and the more I looked [in my research] there were a lot of British connections that had never been examined.” Chief among them: Chanel’s foray into London society during the Forties and Fifties, a period when she palled around with Winston Churchill and enjoyed a love affair with the Duke of Westminster. “Those details are really, really crucial to the story of Chanel,” says the author. Certainly Picardie makes that point clear in the book, dedicating an entire chapter to the designer’s affair with the dashing duke, at that time the richest man in Britain (whose heir, Gerald Grosvenor, continues to be among the country’s richest). Of course, unearthing such intimate details would be difficult for any biographical subject, but Picardie’s task was particularly tricky with Chanel. “She covered her tracks endlessly,” says the writer, who began her research for the project more than a decade ago. “I mean, this is a woman who changed the date of her birth.” While Picardie remains tight-lipped about many of the sources she consulted for the project, she says she relied a great deal on British Secret Service files and used her connections in the fashion industry to gain access to the Chanel archives. “I started out as an investigative journalist for the Sunday Times,” she says. “So it was just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other and piecing together the clues.” One set of clues to which Picardie paid special attention were those surrounding the designer’s alleged support of the Nazi party, a rumor born out of the designer’s love affair with a German official. “I don’t believe Chanel was a Nazi,” declares the author, noting Chanel’s relationship with the officer is still a fact. “I found the truth is far, far more complicated than that [and] I hope I’ve established a pretty clear narrative about what happened.” Not that Picardie, who has written three previous books, including “Daphne,” a historical fiction account of “Rebecca” author Daphne du Maurier, believes she’s even come close to offering the final word on the designer. “You could make a dozen movies about Chanel and still not have covered her entire story,” she says.
Exclusive: @longchamp is planning to stage its first official runway show at New York Fashion Week this fall. The French leather goods firm has expanded into ready-to-wear as part of its repositioning as a lifestyle brand. The show, scheduled for September 8, will also cap the brand’s 70th anniversary celebration. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex undertook their first overseas engagement as a married couple in Dublin. The trip included multiple events and outfits changes, including this black dress by @emiliawickstead that Meghan Markle wore for a party at the British Ambassador’s home. #wwdfashion #royals
At 20 years old – and with an estimated net worth of $900 million - @kyliejenner is the youngest person to ever make @forbes’ annual list of America’s Richest #SelfMadeWomen. “It’s incredible to be recognized for something I’m so passionate about, and I’m really grateful for that. I’ve always loved makeup and worked really hard to bring the first lip kit to the market,” said Jenner on founding @kyliecosmetics. See who else is on the list on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @rainerhosch)
“The collection is inspired by Tulum and the Mayan Riviera – its laid-back luxury, life of cabanas, untouched coastline, natural habitats, exotic cocktails and jungle parties with renowned DJs,” said Matteo Maniatty, creative director and cofounder of @descendantofthieves, on the brand’s inspiration for its latest collection. See more designer sketches and inspirations on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #nyfwmens #nyfw
@riccardotisci17 is releasing a limited-edition capsule collection as part of his anticipated runway debut for @burberry in September. Delivered in a series of instant drops, this is the second Burberry capsule collection announced since Friday, when Tisci broke the news on his collaboration with @viviennewestwood. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
“It’s like a Cinderella story. You get a little fake, you get a little real, you put it together and voilà,” said legendary rapper Slick Rick, who helped pioneer the merge of luxury and streetwear. WWD’s @ariahughes spoke to @therulernyc about his jewelry collection, his collaboration with @bally and how the industry has evolved – link in bio. (📷: @kristaschlueter)
@ragandbone and @eminem are teaming up on a special capsule collection of streetwear pieces. Sold at a one-day pop-up in London’s Soho on Friday, the collection features three different T-shirt designs and a hoodie. The capsule is set to kick off the rest of Eminem’s shows in his European Revival Tour, which ends on Sunday. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdfashion