Sam Taylor-Johnson Brings Coco Chanel to the Saatchi Gallery

Sam Taylor-Johnson's photograph of the staircase leading up to Coco Chanel's apartment Photo: Courtesy Chanel
Sam Taylor-Johnson's photograph of the staircase leading up to Coco Chanel's apartment Photo: Courtesy Chanel

The hot ticket of London’s Fashion Week last night was not a catwalk show or a designer’s party, but the opening at the Saatchi Gallery of an exhibition of photographs that the artist and filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson took in the Parisian apartment of Coco Chanel.

The series of 34 photographs depict the private rooms of Mademoiselle Chanel at her iconic address 31 Rue Cambon. “This is outside the normal remit of my work, but it is not fashion photography,” Taylor-Johnson explained during the exhibition’s press viewing, reports Entertainment Wise. “These photographs portray a complex and interesting personality. I was looking for a sense of a person, a spirit,” she continued.

Last night’s private view at the Saatchi Gallery gathered a cluster of UK A-listers including Taylor-Johnson’s actor husband, Aaron, the model Lara Stone, and 50 Shades of Gray star Jaime Dornan.

Photography is a medium that the artist knows well. She earned her stripes as an artist in the 1990s with a series of self-portraits in which she appeared suspended midair, lifted by balloons, and balancing precariously on a chair. In the last few years, though, Taylor-Johnson has focused on directing feature films, including the soon-to-be-released the film adaptation of the erotic best-seller 50 Shades of Gray.


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