Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto opens at the V&A on 16 September, based on a show previously mounted at Paris’s Palais Galliera. That one – like most biopics and many biographies – ignored Chanel’s war years working as a Nazi intelligence agent in Paris, while holed up in the Paris Ritz with her Nazi lover Hans Günther von Dincklage. The V&A is confronting this with original documents from both German and British intelligence, as well as evidence she briefly joined the resistance. “Our audience asked for it to be included,” explains V&A project curator Stephanie Wood. “Museums should be able to host these debates – just as they should discuss decolonisation.” Surrounding this, there are 191 pieces from 25 countries, footage of shows and detailed history – plus the original little black dress.
Photograph Getty Images