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By
AFP
Published
Oct 23, 2008
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Chanel handbag show opens to Central Park

By
AFP
Published
Oct 23, 2008

NEW YORK, Oct 22, 2008 (AFP) - The iconic quilted leather Chanel handbag with its golden chain gets honored in a new exhibition in New York's Central Park, housed in a snow-white spaceship-like mobile art gallery designed by Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid.


Maquette du "Mobile Art" - Zaha Hadid Architects

The exhibition, which will open Friday, doesn't exactly show a collection of handbags, though. Instead, it includes works from 15 artists that were inspired by the elegant Chanel purse, created in 1955.

The inspiration is obvious only in one of the pieces -- a giant version of the open bag lying on its side. Others include Frenchman Daniel Buren's bathing cabin and an installation by Argentine Leandro Erlich showing the reflection of buildings.

Shaped like a large white snail, Hadid's structure ends with a giant Chanel bag and a "wishtree" by Yoko Ono, John Lennon's Japanese widow, where a wish can be written and hung on a branch.

Coco Chanel, who died in 1971, worked with artists like Jean Cocteau and Picasso, "and this gallery continues that tradition," a spokesman for Chanel and its artistic director Karl Lagerfeld said.

The exhibition has already been on display in Hong Kong and Japan.

After it closes in New York the exhibition heads to London, then Moscow and Paris.

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