Three Weeks with Coco Chanel by Douglas Kirkland

Three Weeks with Coco Chanel by Douglas Kirkland provides an exclusive view of the fashion designer’s incredible life, captured by one of the world’s most legendary photographers. The exhibiton opens on Friday, 13 March at Hawaiian’s Claremont Quarter, in Perth, with up to 30 intimate images on display.

© David Kirkland
© Douglas Kirkland

No stranger to photographing some of the world’s most beloved icons, including Man Ray, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and Judy Garland, among countless others, Douglas Kirkland fixed his lens on Chanel for twenty-one days in 1962. The resultis a distinctly unique look at the woman who transformed twentieth century fashion.

Sent to Paris on assignment for Look magazine, Kirkland ended up living with Chanel for three weeks, catching both the public and intimate moments of her daily life. This collection of never-before-seen photographs is as staggeringly beautiful as it is an impassioned portraiture, shedding new light on one of the great stories of the modern age.

“She wasn’t even sure I should photograph her,” Kirkland said. “She’d been photographed by Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, but she didn’t know me, so she made me photograph some fashion first, to prove myself.”

© David Kirkland
© Douglas Kirkland

Kirkland spent the next few days taking shots of models in Chanel outfits at famous Paris locations. Chanel was pleased with what she saw and allowed him to spend three weeks with her at the 31 Rue Cambon salon and workrooms. Commenting on the experience, Kirkland said, “Chanel had a great impact on me. She opened my eyes as a photographer, but also as a student of life. It was life-changing for me.”

© David Kirkland
© Douglas Kirkland

About David Kirkland

Douglas Kirkland is one of the best-known and longest-working photographers of our time. He began on assignment for Look and Life magazines, where he photographed icons such as Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and Marlene Dietrich. He has also photographed on the sets of over 100 motion pictures including The Sound of Music, Moulin Rouge, Titanic, Out of Africa, and Saturday Night Fever.

Celebrity portraits include the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Angelina Jolie, Michelle Williams, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, and Arnold Schwarznegger. Kirkland has been named “Photographer of the Year” (PMDA) and “Mentor of the Year” (Fotofusion).

In February 2011, the American Society of Cinematographers ASC presented him with the prestigious President’s Award. In the summer of 2015, he received a special Nastri D’Argento (Silver Ribbon) at the International Taormina Film Festival. The Canadian Consul General in Los Angeles presented him with the Award of Excellence in recognition of a lifetime of outstanding accomplishments in September 2017. In Toronto, 2019, CAFA (Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards) gave him an outstanding achievement for his career in photography.

© David Kirkland
© Douglas Kirkland

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March

The National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition is selected from a national field of entries, reflecting the distinctive vision of Australia's aspiring and professional portrait photographers.

'The Look' is a touring exhibition, on loan from The National Portrait Gallery, with Geelong Gallery the first stop on the tour, and the only Victorian destination.