“Follow your own very original convictions…A sage has said that when one follows someone, one always remains behind” Marion Pike

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If we had to describe Coco Chanel in just one sentence, we would probably paraphrase Marion Pike’s quote, her originality shaped her life and career in a time where creativity was reserved only for the brave. The London College of Fashion has curated a exhibition where we can have a look at Coco’s life through her dearest friends eyes: “Coco Chanel: A New Portrait By Marion Pike”.

Born in America but with Paris in her heart, Marion spent six months working in Paris every year, learning her craft as a painter, while studying techniques of artists like Delacroix, Degas, Goya, Van Gogh and Velázquez. Considered a portrait artist with an exceptional ability to capture the soul of her sitter, Marion painted at least thirteen expressive portraits, huge and full of saturated colours, of an adult Coco, enjoying the greatest success of her empire. Some of those paintings are exhibited now in LCF next to surviving garments that the couturier made for her in exchange.

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The exhibition showcases the working practises of two extraordinary talented women, who met in Coco’s atelier and forged a friendship resulting in gorgeous artworks and fashion items that are both inspiring and great to admire. The display is on show until November 16 at the college’s Fashion Space Gallery on John Princes street, London W1. A piece of fashion history not to be missed.

By Laura Roig Vericat

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