Chanel @ LCF

The London College of Fashion is aptly situated behind Oxford Circus. The school is famous for churning out some of the UK’s most successful designers, stylists and make up artists which include J.W. Anderson, Jimmy Choo and LK Bennett to name but a few. The College however is also home to its very own gallery: The Fashion Space Gallery which is currently displaying a glimpse into the life of French designer, Coco Chanel through the art of American artist, Marion Pike.

The exhibition is petite, yet like Chanel’s early designs, it seems to be structured, without excessive extraneous detail. The pair met in 1967 when Pike first created the designer’s portrait. The show displays five paintings by Pike of Chanel as well as photographs, letters and clothes given by Chanel to Pike’s daughter Jeffie Durham.

The portraits on display are shown here together for the first time and the fact that Pike has made five – the artist’s lucky number and also the namesake of her iconic fragrance emphasises the friendship, and fondness for one another that the two women had.

It may seem a little odd to have put Chanel and Pike, two women, neither of whom has any affiliation with LCF as subjects of an exhibition here in London, however the display works and is a lovely afternoon treat after a hard day of shopping around Oxford Street!

Coco Chanel: A New Portrait by Marion Pike: Paris 1967-1971 is on display at the Fashion Space Gallery, London College of Fashion until 15 November 2013

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier aka Gallery Girl is a writer and curator based in London. Her work has been featured in publications including Dazed, Hyperallergic and Vogue Arabia. She was curator of Perpetual Movement during AWAN Festival 2018 and in 2019 had a residency at the Lab at Darat Al Funun in Amman, Jordan. She has also worked with Armenia Art Fair for its inaugural edition and previously worked as an editor at I.B.Tauris Publishers. In 2019 she co-founded Arsheef, Yemen’s first contemporary art gallery. She has given workshops at Manara Culture in Amman, Jordan and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK. As of 2020 she is currently in law school, with the ambition of greater understanding the intersection between art and the law.

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