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Chanel announces new exhibition, ‘The Woman Who Reads’

Chanel is coming to Venice this fall with a new Culture Chanel exhibition titled "The Woman Who Reads".

The exhibition will explore Gabrielle Chanel's creative world from the perspective of her relationship to books and reading. It will offer a glimpse of life at her Parisian apartment at 31 rue Cambon, where the bookshelves hosted everything from Greek authors to modern poets and literature inspired the construction of her own fashion designs.

It will look at the role books played in the pioneering designer's life, from the years of solitude in the orphanage of Aubazine until her final years, underlined in particular by the works of classicists and iconic authors like Homer, Plato, Virgil, Sophocles, Lucretius, Dante, Montaigne and Cervantes, among others.

The event will also shine a light on the writers she knew and admired, such as Pierre Reverdy, Max Jacob and Jean Cocteau, whose diversity, according to the house, "allowed her to find in her own vocabulary – that of fashion, a modernity that defied its own temporality".

Dedications, archives, photographs, paintings and drawings will all go on display at the exhibition, exposing Chanel's aesthetic vocabulary, her taste for classicism and the baroque, and her love for Russia and the golds of Venice. Art objects from her Paris apartment will also be shown to the public for the first time, along with jewelry pieces and perfumes.

Launched in 2007, the "Culture Chanel" project approaches the story of the fashion house and its founder through themed exhibitions. The previous six installations have taken place in Moscow, Shanghai, Beijing, Canton, Paris and Seoul. "The Woman Who Reads" runs from September 17, 2016 to January 8, 2017 at the Ca' Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art in Venice.

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