Gabrielle Chanel And The Arts

Inside CHANEL, a series of episodic films, explores the Chanel founder and her history. Released throughout the year since 2012, and now on its 27th episode, the saga has explored topics like The Jacket, Gabrielle Rebel At Heart, and Chanel by Karl. The upcoming release reveals the special relationship Gabrielle Chanel had with the art world. Moving into new territory after Masculine As Her Muse (episode 26), Episode 27 sketches a portrait of the beloved Madame Chanel as both an enthusiast and observer of the arts, but more importantly a participant of a cultural revolution. The importance of the arts becomes evident through the company she surrounded herself with, as Gabrielle Chanel attracted and was attracted to many artists. 

By Lauren Walker-Lee

Through her friendships with artists in Paris and through her travels, art quite naturally became part of her daily life, and also of her time in society, with evenings often spent at the opera or at home surrounded by friends around her piano : art nurtured a real lifestyle. Names like Visconti, Jean Cocteau, Igor Stravinsky, Salvador Dalì, Pablo Picasso, and Marie Laurencin helped to shape Gabrielle Chanel’s aesthetic vocabulary and style. She often gathered this artistic community together at her home, and it became a spiritual family that she would never leave.

inside chanel

As an artist herself, she shared a common language and spirit. One of freedom, curiosity, challenging codes, and naturally a notion of revolution. She then applied these artistic principles to her own designs. It is noted a Chanel jacket’s panels resembled similar fragmentation to a cubist painting, the simplicity of a little black dress evoked Art Deco’s purity of style, and jersey’s freedom of movement and the free fitting waist echoed what dancer Isadora Duncan had previously explored.

inside chanel


Her encounters with the different figures of the Avant-garde provided many opportunities to explore new fields of creation. Gabrielle Chanel engaged in unprecedented artistic collaborations, creating costumes for ballet, theatre, operetta, and cinema. This chapter of the film series will also touch upon what was seen as the radical design of the N°5 perfume bottle, and her artistic approach to jewellery, making which was seen as a scandalous vision.

Episode 27 of Inside CHANEL opens the door to the upheaval she initiated in her creations. Her thoroughly modern take, avant-garde view, and disruption of codes is a firm thread that has lasted the test of time through the house of Chanel and it’s many chapters. The continued release of the 2020 films will further explore Chanel’s relationship with the arts, with future episodes diving into the world’s of cinema, literature, dance, and music.

The film will be released worldwide on on February 24, 2020.

Written on: February 1, 2020