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Sleek. Chic. Notoriously guarded. Welcome to the secret world of Coco Chanel.

Tuesday 24 October, The Lotos Room at The Beaumont

We are delighted to present the next event in our popular literary series on Tuesday 24 October with author Justine Picardie reading from her international bestseller book Coco Chanel: the Legend and the Life.

Justine Picardie has spent over twenty years exploring the truth about the mystery that was Coco Chanel. The inventor of the Little Black Dress (LBD), the bob haircut, trousers for women, contemporary chic, a globally bestselling perfume and founder of the most successful fashion brand of all time, she was also an enigma, fashioning the myth of her own life with the same attention to detail as her couture. Chanel is synonymous with elegance and beauty - yet what lay beneath the surface is far darker. This stunning edition contains a new foreword and updated text throughout, including major new research by the author and unseen images from the Chanel archives such as newly discovered portraits of Coco Chanel.

Prior to the reading and discussion, guests are invited to enjoy drinks with canapés in the Lotos Room's lobby. Each guest will also receive a copy of Coco Chanel: the Legend and the Life as part of their ticket, with an opportunity for signing after the talk.


Ticket Price: £40, including a hardback copy of the book

Time: 18.30pm - cocktail reception with canapés | 19.15pm - reading, discussion and Q&A

Location: The Lotos Room at The Beaumont

The Author

Justine Picardie is the author of six books, including her bestselling memoir If the Spirit Moves You; Miss Dior: A Story of Courage and Couture; and the international bestseller, Coco Chanel: the Legend and the Life, which was reissued in a new, revised edition in August 2023 to coincide with the forthcoming Chanel exhibition at the V&A. She has also contributed essays to several anthologies and museum exhibitions on art, fashion and photography. She is a contributing editor to Harper's Bazaar, having previously been its editor-in-chief. She was formerly an investigative journalist for the Sunday Times, a columnist for the Telegraph, editor of the Observer Magazine, editor of Town & Country and features director of Vogue.

The Book

Justine Picardie's definitive biography explores the dark mysteries hidden beneath the shimmering surface of a fabled fashion icon. Unveiling remarkable details about Coco Chanel's traumatic childhood and her flight into unconventional adulthood, this beautifully constructed portrait reveals her passionate and painful past, her turbulent loves and losses, her quest for fame and fortune, and how she transformed herself into her own most powerful creation.

Feared and revered by her contemporaries, Chanel died in 1971, but her legacy lives on as an enduring global brand. Drawing on interviews with her last surviving friends and relatives, and unprecedented archival research, Justine Picardie brings Chanel out of hiding, unpicking the seams between reality and myth, and telling a timeless story that uncovers the true art and heart of fashion.

This special new edition has been extensively revised and updated, and offers a uniquely authoritative account of the greatest designer in the world.

As Justine Picardie shows in this elegant book, the figure who introduced simplicity into women’s wardrobes was far from simple herself.

The Telegraph