**Special Saturday Edition**
Before seeing its trailer, we were quite excited about Coco Avant Chanel, Anne Fontaine’s biopic of the legendary French designer. But the sight of Audrey Tautou playing Coco kind of bummed us out a little. Tautou is as marvelous a French actress as any, but replacing CC’s image with a fake just isn’t right, even if it is only for a 120 minutes.
Much much more excitement-worthy is Mademoiselle–Coco Chanel/ Summer 62 (Steidl), a new book featuring images of the icon at work that is out this August. We were fortunate enough to get advance pages of the book last week and have already made classic Coco screensavers with most of the book’s 100-plus images.
Back in 1962, photographer Douglas Kirkland was sent on assignment by Look magazine to photograph the designer in Paris and managed to capture every facet of her badassness in a disarming, intimate and spontaneous way. Karl Lagerfeld’s touching foreword fits these images into the larger context of Chanel’s life: Kirkland shot these photographs almost a decade before her death, but as Lagerfeld tells it, they almost mark the designer’s last golden summer as the reigning queen of fashion. Swinging ’60s micro minis were on their way in, and Chanel’s suited brand of French chic would have to take a backseat, at least for a while. Chanel was almost 80 years old when these pictures were taken, but with all the charming smiles, moody Gauloise-smoking moments and monochrome executive realness, she remains forever vital and young.