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MUSS Collection Dispatch from the Archives: Chanel by Deborah Turbeville

In 1998, Karl Lagerfeld asked Deborah Turbeville to photograph Chanel's couture archives, in a shoot that would take place at Gabrielle Chanel's former apartment at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris. The creative director for the storied fashion house was a fan of Turbeville's work since her Unseen Versailles series; in 1982, the New York Times reported that one of Lagerfeld's apartments had only Turbeville's art hanging on its walls, all original prints from the Versailles series. The shoot at Chanel's apartment lasted three days, with Vogue editor André Leon Talley overseeing the production. The couture archives included dresses dating back to the early days of Chanel, including one from 1927; in this image, Turbeville's model is styled to appear as Gabrielle Chanel herself, with her signature look of stacked necklaces tumbling down her neck. Many of the photographs from this shoot were unpublished, including this one; only a few of the images from that sitting made it into Turbeville's 2011 book The Fashion Pictures. Though Turbeville is remembered today primarily as a fashion photographer, her work transcended the genre. As this July would have marked Turbeville's 90th birthday, we invite you to take a moment to look back at her life and work in the essay "Deborah Turbeville: Traces and Passages". 

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