Carla Coulson | Coco Chanel’s Apartment Paris – Recently Published Work
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Coco Chanel’s Apartment Paris – Recently Published Work

What happens when you receive an email from a magazine asking would you be available to shoot Coco Chanel’s apartment in Paris?

First you faint with excitement and then hit the reply button as soon as you can with a giant YES!!

That’s exactly what I did when House and Garden asked me to shoot Australian writer Sarah Ayoub in the  famed Rue Cambon apartment.

Sarah has idolised Coco Chanel from her teenage years when she saved every penny she had to buy her first Chanel handbag. It was her life dream to visit Coco Chanel’s apartment in Paris and you can read the full story in this month’s issue.

Sarah and I had the great fortune to have a Chanel historian recount the story behind each object and who gave it to Coco. We listened as the historian recounted the revolutionary way she decorated her apartment with simple linen curtains and a giant beige suede couch. At the time the decoration was all florals and heavy velvet or brocade draps. Go Coco!

I loved shooting this last portrait even though it is small on Coco Chanel’s famed staircase. It is a photo that I will always treasure in my portfolio of cool Parisian places and awe inspiring moments on my photographic journey. I pinched myself when I left her apartment that day.

Merci House and Garden, Sarah and Chanel!

“Fashion fades only style remains”. Coco Chanel




PS: Sarah has a popular blog called Chasing Aphrodite

  • I hope you don’t have any bruises from all that pinching, Carla. 😉 I’m so happy for you, adding this experience to those in your already-special photographyic wardrobe. I’ll pick up this edition of H&G so I can see your work in all its proper glory. The apartment is amazing, but even more so, your portraits of Sarah are lovely ~ as always.

    November 21, 2012 at 10:28 am
    • My, my spelling was very creative just then. 😉

      November 21, 2012 at 10:41 am
  • This is just so amazing. I once read a book about Chanel. She was such a complex strong willed individual.

    November 21, 2012 at 11:55 am
  • Well done Carla! Very lucky and the photo’s look amazing!

    November 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm
  • Félicitations, Carla! So you got to go into the “lioness’s den.”; not only that, but you got to photograph it. The closest I ever came to Chanel’s private apartment was when one of the security guards of the rue Cambon boutique let me open the big glass door leading to the staircase so my husband could take a photo of me in front of the giant Chanel portrait in the entryway :-) One of the highlights of that Paris trip, documented on the blog, of course, as I recall. I wish I could get my hands on that magazine. I will have to check the local Barnes and Noble when I return to the West Coast. For now, at least for a few more hours, enjoying the many wonders of New York city. Went to Carnegie Hall last night to attend a concert by French artist Patricia Kaas – who was singing Edith Piaf songs – and noticed many Chanel purses in the audience :-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

    November 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm
  • It must have been wonderful to spend time in that apartment. Great job!

    I love that the place it has been kept as it was when she was still alive.

    November 21, 2012 at 3:01 pm
  • Wow weee, lucky, lucky girl and wonderful photos too.

    November 21, 2012 at 4:03 pm
  • too much pinching Carla !! it hurts !! it hurts !!

    November 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm
  • Congratulations, Carla must get the magazine! way to go girl.

    November 21, 2012 at 4:45 pm
  • I have the same dining room chairs!Looks like hers are covered in velvet?I have a similar chandelier too!The round wheat table from ITALY I have sold in my shop!!!!!!!OH, Once again you have made my day!YOU LUCKY LUCKY GIRL!CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!MAGNIFICENT REALLY!XXX

    November 21, 2012 at 4:50 pm
  • How fabulous!! A friend of mine was able to visit her apartment last year, thanks to her frequent shopper’s habit at Chanel’s Dallas store.:) Your photos are stunning as always.–Katie

    November 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm
  • Fabulous gig and gorgeous pictures!
    Bravo Carla!!
    Well deserved assignment.

    November 21, 2012 at 6:13 pm
  • What a coup Carla!

    November 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm
  • Wow, what a thrill! I get goosebumps just thinking about it, congratulations Carla!! Chanel was so ahead of her time and what I would give to have that natural courage and belief in myself to be able to achieve even 1% of her success as a designer! Thankfully it’s someone like you Carla to share your experiences like this one and give us all the inspiration we need! X

    November 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm
  • Anita Rivera

    BRAVO CARLA!!!!!!!!! THIS IS BIG NEWS! OH how I am so happy for you!! Anita

    November 22, 2012 at 3:27 am
  • What a dream assignment! Fabulous, Carla!!

    November 22, 2012 at 8:38 am
  • Oh how utterly fabulous! What an assignment and of course so well deserved. Dancing on the ceiling time …

    Beautiful photos.

    November 22, 2012 at 9:26 am
  • What an opportunity and how amazing- I would love to set foot in her appartment such an icon! xxCorrina.

    November 22, 2012 at 11:49 am
  • Sabrina

    Congratulations Carla! You are saying ‘yes’ to life and through your website you are giving me the courage to say ‘yes’ to life/opportunities – love the photos xx YOU GO GIRL!

    November 23, 2012 at 2:44 am
  • Deborah McCabe

    I would love to buy this issue in Chicago. Please advise where I might find it? Congrats on a spectacular achievement….I’m envious!!!

    November 23, 2012 at 11:04 am

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