Photographer Man Ray ( Emmanuel Radnitzky ), made this portrait of Coco Chanel in 1935. It can be purchased from the Man Ray Trust and prints are available in collections with many art galleries across the world. The image below that I’ve used for this blog post, is from the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía website.
In it’s 2017, New Years greeting card, a cut out of the same image has been used and in-laid with Chanel’s signature tweed. The pearls have been cut in half and stuck on top as well. The cigarette dangling from her lips is gone ( I suppose it was a lot more acceptable to associate one’s brand with tobacco in the 1930’s ).
Her hands in the pockets at her hips are the gesture that stuck me the most. She meant business. She also had grace and elegance. Timeless. Inspiring the likes of me even in 2017. Man Ray’s work has inspired generations of photographers no less.
Always love receiving literally anything from Chanel – thank you Marielou. ( There was a box with a pair of sunglasses alongwith the greeting card – posted a selfie with those on my Instagram here. )
I had to get my hands dirty pulling the card apart to get more details of the threads and the technique used. After I was doing photographing it, it’s now pinned on one of the cork boards at my apartment-office.
Below, my quick interpretation – self portrait. This was a lot of fun to make. Black and white photographs from that era were so simple in their elegance. Hard to reproduce because my tendency is to edit MORE, not less. Focus is more on the post-production than on creating the positive and negative spaces and shapes. Photographed it on a lower shutter speed to try to catch the softness, succeeded to some extent. As is obvious from the image below, I have none of the grace Coco Chanel had, apart from a waist that’s a few sizes larger than hers. But I like the differences – this portrait below is very ME. The hat, the hair, the pose, the eyes.
Blog stories like these are so much fun to do!
A previous story where I’ve worn something similar, with Chanel makeup is #CoverUp 47, which was photographed in the Kashmir Valley.
Other #EyesForLuxury features on Naina.co