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Coco Chanel: A New Portrait by Marion Pike, Paris 1967-71 is a new exhibition that explores the life stories, friendships and entwined creativity of two, extraordinarily talented, twentieth century women.

Californian artist Marion Pike met Coco Chanel when she painted her portrait in 1967. The story of their friendship – revealed in the exhibition for the first time – provides a fascinating new narrative.

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Marion, a superb colourist, created paintings – many monumental in size – that were both sensitive and exuberant. The exhibition includes five striking portraits of Chanel – which have never before been exhibited together, in addition to haute couture fashion pieces worn by Marion and her daughter Jeffie.

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All of the exhibits have been lent by Jeffie Pike Durham, who has become her mother’s archivist. She met Coco in 1968 – an unforgettable, affirmative experience making the exhibitions also Jeffie’s story – by showcasing objects that she carefully preserved, that are contextualised by memories.TSA_Exhibition_cocochanel-22

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Curated by London Fashion college’s Professor Amy de la Haye who is interviewed in this video by SHOWstudio – revealing in an insightful discussion how the exhibition came about, and many previously untold aspects of Coco Chanel’s life.

London College of Fashion – Fashion Space Gallery, Until November 15, 2013

fashionspacegallery.com