Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style
“If there is anyone on your holiday list who is a devotee of Chanel or a card-carrying fashion maniac, then receiving this book will thrill them to no end. The quality and presentation is unparalleled, . . . Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style rises to the top of any of the fashion tomes about Chanel that have preceded it.”
Jérôme Gautier has delivered the quintessential volume about the life of designer Gabrielle Chanel—emphasis on designer. This is not a book that will lead you through the much and oft-covered life of this legendary designer, but rather into the details of the trajectory of the Chanel brand and its products.
It is no secret than Karl Lagerfeld has been designing, re-imagining, and reviving the brand for almost 30 years. But what Mr. Gautier so skillfully demonstrates is Mr. Lagerfeld’s faithfulness to the company’s namesake during those nearly three decades.
Mr. Lagerfeld, it appears, is as adept as extrapolating ideas from the late Mademoiselle Chanel as he is carving out new categories for the Chanel brand. This progression or osmosis, if you will, is shown to us primarily in the form of photographs from many of the greatest fashion and product photographers of the 20th century.
Author Gautier is to be commended for shaping this exhaustive study with such elegance and grace, that one feels like the experience is that of reading a story rather than a history. Without hesitation, his is one of the very few coffee table books to lend the fashionable brand a starring role; in Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style, Mlle. Chanel’s autobiographical details merely provide the skeleton for the meat of the story.
Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style pays clear homage to Karl Lagerfeld as Mlle. Chanel’s practical amanuensis. One can only be thankful that Mr. Lagerfeld is as audacious and prolific as he is, channeling her original vocabulary into the current body of Chanel products, which is staggering in its breadth and scope.
If there is anyone on your holiday list who is a devotee of Chanel or a card-carrying fashion maniac, then receiving this book will thrill them to no end. The quality and presentation is unparalleled, and while the subject (autobiographically speaking) may be a bit hackneyed, Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style rises to the top of any of the fashion tomes about Chanel that have preceded it.