Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Chanel at Galignani
I'm so behind with the blog -- have been jotting notes, and taking pictures, and there's much more I want to tell you -- but midnight is approaching, so very briefly, for now, here's a quick update on the launch of the French edition of my Chanel biography, with lots of new drawings by Karl Lagerfeld. It was held at the wonderful Galignani bookshop in Paris, on the Rue de Rivoli, just along from Angelina's, where Chanel dropped in for tea in the afternoon. Galignani was the first English bookshop established on the Continent, and has been a printing press since 1520, so its history is extraordinary, as are the premises in Paris, which have hosted everyone from Proust to Hemingway (and was Chanel's favourite bookshop, as well). It's one of those places where the past feels palpably present, and I wandered around in amazement, admiring first editions of Lord Byron and letters from Hemingway and Jung, in between doing some interviews with remarkably patient French journalists... Oh, and Karl Lagerfeld came, which caused a great stir -- great crowds of fans and paparazzi outside -- though he seemed very much at home in these bookish surroundings (his own library is immense), and signed my book, along with those of his myriad admirers. So it was all rather dreamlike, and very enjoyable -- much less fraught than being published in one's own country...
Inevitably, perhaps, I came back to London with a bumpy crash-landing... even though the blossoms are so beautiful here, and it's lovely to be back home. I feel guilty about the moments of gloom that have overtaken me -- how lucky I am to be alive in a glorious spring -- but one's mind swoops high and low, from the mundane to greater matters and then back to the fragility of magnolia petals in this morning's sudden downpour of rain.