Coco Chanel: A New Portrait

Coco Chanel: A New Portrait

Prepare to rewrite your perception of the woman who launched a thousand LBDs by heading to London College of Fashion to catch  Coco Chanel: A New Portrait by Marion Pike, Paris 1967-71

Snapshot of Coco seated in front of her extensive library of books, taken by Marion c.1967

Never before exhibited together, this refreshing collection features five portraits of the designer as seen through the eyes of her close friend, Californian artist Marion Pike. Having famously refused Picasso’s requests to paint her, Chanel welcomed Pike’s larger than life immortalisations, revealing a tender narrative of friendship between two phenomenally talented women as well as a new, softer side to the designer.  

Marion Pike, Chanel on Balcony in Switzerland, 1968
Acrylic on Masonite 80 x 105 cm

© Condé Nast Archive/Corbis

Completing the story, the collection is punctuated with beautiful haute couture worn by the artist and her daughter Jeffie, whose meticulous archiving made this exhibition possible.

Chanel, spring / summer 1968, American Vogue 15 March 1968. David Bailey

Chanel poses, amidst bolts of cloth, for Marion’s camera c.1968

Marion and Coco pose together with ‘Coco Chanel – Big Head’ painted by Marion, 1967. Photographer unknown

The exhibition is on until 15th November at the LCF Fashion Space Gallery on John Princes Street, London W1. Free entry.

  • Words: Georgina Bacchus