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A fashion icon in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 11:42 23 August 2016

Professor Amy de la Haye will share some of the secrets unearthed during the 2013 Coco Chanel: a new portrait by Marion Pike exhibition at London College of Fashion, pictured here, which she curated. Photographs by Daniel Caulfield-Sriklad

Professor Amy de la Haye will share some of the secrets unearthed during the 2013 Coco Chanel: a new portrait by Marion Pike exhibition at London College of Fashion, pictured here, which she curated. Photographs by Daniel Caulfield-Sriklad

Jeffie Pike Durham

The extraordinary life of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel will be brought to life at an exclusive event at Narborough Hall this month

Narborough Hall and Garden 
PHOTO; Matthew UsherNarborough Hall and Garden PHOTO; Matthew Usher

She remains one of the world’s most iconic fashion designers – and almost 50 years on from her death, the innovative yet timeless style of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel remains as relevant and influential as ever.

Professor Amy de la Haye will share some of the secrets unearthed during the 2013 Coco Chanel: a new portrait by Marion Pike exhibition at London College of Fashion, pictured here, which she curated. Photographs by Daniel Caulfield-SrikladProfessor Amy de la Haye will share some of the secrets unearthed during the 2013 Coco Chanel: a new portrait by Marion Pike exhibition at London College of Fashion, pictured here, which she curated. Photographs by Daniel Caulfield-Sriklad

This month, a special charity event at Narborough Hall in Norfolk will celebrate and explore her life with an illustrated talk from leading academic, author and fashion expert Professor Amy de la Haye.

Professor Amy de la Haye's biograpy about Coco ChanelProfessor Amy de la Haye's biograpy about Coco Chanel

The fundraising luncheon was the brainchild of Alex Ware, who runs Norfolk Concierge, based near Dersingham.

“I have, for a long time, been an admirer of Chanel, not because I can afford to buy couturier clothes but because her life is a fascinating story - from being abandoned with her sister at an orphanage to meeting and knowing many of the famous fashionable cultural elite and influencing and changing the way all women dress.”

She decided to approach the professor after reading her biography about the designer and asked whether she would speak about Coco Chanel at a special charity lunch at the stunning Grade II listed Narborough Hall, near King’s Lynn.

“I wrote to Amy de la Haye and put the idea to her and, within three quarters of an hour, she replied, accepting the invitation. This is an exclusive event as Amy has never previously visited Norfolk or attended such an event before. Her talk will be illustrated and she has much new and exciting information to impart.”

Amy is the former curator of Twentieth Century Dress at the V&A in London and current Rootstein Hopkins Chair of Dress History at London College of Fashion. She will offer guests an exclusive insight into the life and legacy of Coco Chanel.

“For almost a century, the name Chanel has been synonymous with feminine elegance, modernity and fashion innovation. Chanel is perhaps best known for her daywear which was elegant, flattering and comfortable – it was flexible and eminently wearable,” she says.

“She was central in determining how we dress today. She said that women should be caterpillars by day and butterflies by night. Her butterflies included corsets, crinolines and lingerie styles which are much less known today. I will show images and talk about these at Narborough Hall.”

Guests will enjoy a two-course lunch, followed by tea and pastries during the afternoon, when Caroline Allen, owner of Holt boutique Turnaround, will also offer hints and tips on accessorising the “Little Black Dress” made famous by Coco Chanel.

The event, sponsored by Kathryn Gigg Chartered Accountants, will raise funds for two charities - West Norfolk Mind and international project, Loving Humanity.

The Life & Legacy of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel is on September 29 at Narborough Hall. Tickets cost £65 and are available on 01485 540245.

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