Gabrielle Coco Chanel (18831971) is a fashion icon unlike any other. She invented modern clothing for women: at the height of the Belle Ipoque, she stripped women of their corsets and feathers, bobbed their hair, put them in bathing suits, and sent them out to get tanned in the sun. She introduced slacks, costume jewelry, and the exquisitely comfortable suit. She made the first couture perfume, No. 5, which remains the most popular scent ever created. In this beautiful volume, the glorious life of the incomparable Coco Chanel shines again through hundreds of illustrations and the lively prose of Edmonde Charles-Roux, her official biographer and close friend. Chanel knew and collaborated with the likes of Picasso, Diaghilev, Stravinsky, Cocteau, Jean Renoir, and Visconti, even as she matched their modernist innovations by liberating women from the prison of 19th-century fashion and introducing a whole new concept of elegance. The staggering collection of photographs amassed by the author over decades of friendship with Chanel sheds new light on one of the great stories of the modern age.
A pictorial examination of the contributions of Coco Chanel to twentieth-century fashion cites her introduction of bobbed hair, slacks, tanned skin, and the world's first couture perfume, in a volume that features lavish photography documenting her break with nineteenth-century styles and redefinition of elegant design. 10,000 first printing.
Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel is an icon of fashion, and can lay claim to having invented the look of the 20th century. At the height of the Belle Epoque, she stripped women of their corsets and feathers, bobbed their hair, put them in bathing suits and sent them out to get tanned in the sun. She introduced the little black dress; trousers for women; costume jewelry; the exquisitely comfortable suit that became her trademark. Early in the Roaring Twenties, Chanel made the first ever couture perfume - No. 5 - presenting it in the famous little square-cut flagon that, inspired by Picasso and Cubism, became the arch symbol of the Art Deco style. No. 5 remains the most popular scent ever created. Chanel knew instinctively that the road to success lay in being absolutely at one with her own time. And what a time The era of Picasso, Diaghilev, Stravinsky, Cocteau, Jean Renoir, Visconti - all of whom 'Coco' knew and collaborated with, even as she matched their modernist innovations by liberating women from the prison of 19th-century fashion and creating a whole new concept of elegance. volume clearly shows, her life and accomplishment - even her chronic failure in love - constitute one of the great stories of the modern age. Her life is eminently suited to the lavish visual treatment of this handsome volume, which features more than 600 illustrations from an extraordinary collection amassed over the years by Edmonde Charles-Roux, Chanel's official biographer and close friend. An authoritative and practised writer, Charles-Roux has used careful research and vivid eyewitness accounts to set the pictures in their context of time and place. She makes Chanel live again
Coco Chanel was a legend who revolutionised the way women looked. She became the single most important arbiter of fashion and taste in the 20th century. Just her name was sufficient to convey prestige, quality and unmistakable style. The Duke of Westminster wooed her, Stravinsky played for her and Goldwyn enticed her to Hollywood. She knew everybody who was anybody in the world of the arts from Picasso and Cocteau to Marlene Dietrich and Ingrid Bergman. She designed frankly fake jewellery, introduced the basic 'little black dress' and perfumed the world with her No. 5. However, as this remarkable biography shows, there was a mass of contradictions behind the myth of 'Mademoiselle'. Chanel follows her story from her upbringing in provincial Auvergne through her first successes in the 1920s to her comeback in the 1950s and 1960s. Edmond Charles-Roux's book is definitive as history and immensely entertaining as gossip.
A fascinating look at the real Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, the designer who forever revolutionized the way women look. She was a free spirit, brilliant business woman, and beauty who never found reciprocated love. Madsen, with authority, delves into this fashion doyenne’s business and private lives to reveal one woman’s extraordinary progress: from orphan to millinery shopkeeper, from lodestar of feminine style to a very rich woman with a closet full of dark secrets.
Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel was one of the most influential and ground-breaking fashion designers of the twentieth century. This beautifully illustrated biography tells her remarkable story in a unique and accessible way, examining how the homes and landscapes of her life relate to her work. From her childhood at the convent at Aubazine to her boutique and apartment on Rue Cambon in Paris and her villa, La Pausa, on the French Riveria, Chanel’s style was inspired and influenced by her environment. Emerging at a time that allowed women to be more independent, she designed clothes that let them be free. As she found fame, love and success, she used the memories of her past, and the way that she lived, to forge her own independence. Featuring designs, drawings, archive imagery and contemporary photography, Living with Coco Chanel provides a fascinating insight into Chanel’s life, work and legacy.
The name Chanel brings immediately to mind the signature scent of No. 5 and the understated but sophisticated glamour of a simple black dress and pearls. But to consider Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (1883–1971) as simply a fashion designer fails to capture her social and cultural significance. As Linda Simon reveals in this biography, Chanel was an iconoclastic entrepreneur who rebelled against and manipulated gender expectations of her time. With her menswear-inspired designs, her loose jersey sweaters belted jauntily at the waist, and her svelte, unadorned gowns, Chanel changed women’s silhouettes, and she became known as a champion of women’s freedom. Chanel not only changed the shape of women’s clothing, but the narrative of women’s lives in the early twentieth century. From her very first hat shop until her death, Chanel sold more than fashion—she sold a myth that became as attractive for many women as her coveted outfits. Simon here teases apart that myth to explore its contradictions—Chanel was a self-proclaimed recluse who emerged as one of the most spectacular personalities of her time; she was a brilliant businesswoman who signed away ninety percent of her company; and she was a genius who claimed she was nothing more than an artisan. In this insightful book, Simon examines the world both reflected and shaped by Chanel, setting her life and work within the context of women’s history in France and America from the Roaring Twenties to the profound social changes of the 1960s. Drawing upon rich archival sources, Simon’s lively book is a clear-eyed look at a woman whose influence and legend transcend the world of fashion.
Coco Chanel is best known for her contributions to the design and fashion industry. The famous French designer is believed to be the inventor of the little black dress and for instigating the notion that tanned skin is beautiful. Her designs changed the way we approached the female form, and Hollywood stars would fly her from Paris to Los Angeles just to have a red carpet dress designed. While introducing the world to radical fashion industry transformations, she spent most of her time socializing with the Elite of Parisian and British society. As we know her today, Coco Chanel is the French goddess who has bestowed us with perfumes, designs and the legendary Chanel Suit. Her public statements are often quote by those in the fashion industry who place emphasis on elegance, and those in the business world who strive to succeed. Her designs continue to sell today, and she now has a well-established line of beauty and perfume products. Ever the intellectual, her modernist thoughts have gained her worldwide recognition, even after her death in 1971. Although Coco is best known to us for re-inventing style, her life has not been without its controversies. Far from being a mere woman of elegance, Chanel has a hidden past. By digging beneath the surface, it is clear to see she was just as well known for her drug addiction, affairs with members of the British elite and allegiance with anti-Semitic Nazis. On several occasions she evaded facing international war trials, thanks to her connections in high places.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER Certain lives are at once so exceptional, and yet so in step with their historical moments, that they illuminate cultural forces far beyond the scope of a single person. Such is the case with Coco Chanel, whose life offers one of the most fascinating tales of the twentieth century—throwing into dramatic relief an era of war, fashion, ardent nationalism, and earth-shaking change—here brilliantly treated, for the first time, with wide-ranging and incisive historical scrutiny. Coco Chanel transformed forever the way women dressed. Her influence remains so pervasive that to this day we can see her afterimage a dozen times while just walking down a single street: in all the little black dresses, flat shoes, costume jewelry, cardigan sweaters, and tortoiseshell eyeglasses on women of every age and background. A bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume is sold every three seconds. Arguably, no other individual has had a deeper impact on the visual aesthetic of the world. But how did a poor orphan become a global icon of both luxury and everyday style? How did she develop such vast, undying influence? And what does our ongoing love of all things Chanel tell us about ourselves? These are the mysteries that Rhonda K. Garelick unravels in Mademoiselle. Raised in rural poverty and orphaned early, the young Chanel supported herself as best she could. Then, as an uneducated nineteen-year-old café singer, she attracted the attention of a wealthy and powerful admirer and parlayed his support into her own hat design business. For the rest of Chanel’s life, the professional, personal, and political were interwoven; her lovers included diplomat Boy Capel; composer Igor Stravinsky; Romanov heir Grand Duke Dmitri; Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster; poet Pierre Reverdy; a Nazi officer; and several women as well. For all that, she was profoundly alone, her romantic life relentlessly plagued by abandonment and tragedy. Chanel’s ambitions and accomplishments were unparalleled. Her hat shop evolved into a clothing empire. She became a noted theatrical and film costume designer, collaborating with the likes of Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, and Luchino Visconti. The genius of Coco Chanel, Garelick shows, lay in the way she absorbed the zeitgeist, reflecting it back to the world in her designs and in what Garelick calls “wearable personality”—the irresistible and contagious style infused with both world history and Chanel’s nearly unbelievable life saga. By age forty, Chanel had become a multimillionaire and a household name, and her Chanel Corporation is still the highest-earning privately owned luxury goods manufacturer in the world. In Mademoiselle, Garelick delivers the most probing, well-researched, and insightful biography to date on this seemingly familiar but endlessly surprising figure—a work that is truly both a heady intellectual study and a literary page-turner. Praise for Mademoiselle “A detailed, wry and nuanced portrait of a complicated woman that leaves the reader in a state of utterly satisfying confusion—blissfully mesmerized and confounded by the reality of the human spirit.”—The Washington Post “Writing an exhaustive biography of Chanel is a challenge comparable to racing a four-horse chariot. . . . This makes the assured confidence with which Garelick tells her story all the more remarkable.”—The New York Review of Books “Broadly focused and beautifully written.”—The Wall Street Journal From the Hardcover edition.
Chronicles the life and career of the French fashion designer, along with a discussion of the influences that inspired her and photographs of her clothes.
Chronicles the life and career of the French designer, highlighting her innovative approach to design based on her knowledge of women and their clothing needs
Dandies: Fashion and Finesse in Art and Culture considers the visual languages, politics, and poetics of personal appearance. Dandyism has been most closely associated with influential caucasian Western men-about-town, epitomized by the 19th century style-setting of Oscar Wilde and by Tom Wolfe's white suits. The essays collected here, however, examine the spectacle and workings of dandyism to reveal that these were not the only dandies. On the contrary, art historians, literary and cultural historians, and anthropologists identify unrecognized dandies flourishing among early 19th century Native Americans, in Soviet Latvia, in Africa, throughout the African-American diaspora, among women, and in the art world. Moving beyond historical and fictional accounts of dandies, this volume juxtaposes theoretical models with evocative images and descriptions of clothing in order to link sartorial self-construction with artistic, social, and political self-invention. Taking into consideration the vast changes in thinking about identity in the academy, Dandies provides a compelling study of dandyism's destabilizing aesthetic enterprise. Contributors: Jennifer Blessing, Susan Fillin-Yeh, Rhonda Garelick, Joe Lucchesi, Kim Miller, Robert E. Moore, Richard J. Powell, Carter Ratcliffe, and Mark Allen Svede.
“Who knew that such a tiny bottle housed so many secrets?” —Michael Tonello, author of Bringing Home the Birkin Tilar J. Mazzeo, author of the New York Times bestseller The Widow Clicquot (an Amazon Best of the Month book in October 2008) returns with a captivating history of the world’s most famous, seductive, and popular perfume: Chanel No. 5. Mazzeo’s sweeping story of the iconic scent (known as “le monstre” in the fragrance industry) stretches from Coco Chanel’s early success to the rise of the seminal fragrance during the 1950s to the confirmation of its bestseller status in today’s crowded perfume market. “Here is the life of one of the 20th century’s most interesting and deeply complicated women, a fascinating cultural history, and the story of an extraordinary perfume.” —Chandler Burr, New York Times scent critic and author of The Perfect Scent
A fascinating survey of popular culture in Europe, from Celtic punk and British TV shows to Spanish fashion and Italian sports. • Makes connections between pop culture in Europe to that of the United States • Provides further readings and a bibliography at the end of the work • Includes sidebars throughout the text with additional anecdotal information • Features appendices with top-ten lists of songs, movies, and books
For readers of The Paris Wife and Z comes this vivid novel full of drama, passion, tragedy, and beauty that stunningly imagines the life of iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel—the ambitious, gifted laundrywoman’s daughter who revolutionized fashion, built an international empire, and become one of the most influential and controversial figures of the twentieth century. Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her siblings are sent to orphanage after their mother’s death. The sisters nurture Gabrielle’s exceptional sewing skills, a talent that will propel the willful young woman into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood. Transforming herself into Coco—a seamstress and sometime torch singer—the petite brunette burns with ambition, an incandescence that draws a wealthy gentleman who will become the love of her life. She immerses herself in his world of money and luxury, discovering a freedom that sparks her creativity. But it is only when her lover takes her to Paris that Coco discovers her destiny. Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, her sleek, minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As Coco’s reputation spreads, her couturier business explodes, taking her into rarefied society circles and bohemian salons. But her fame and fortune cannot save her from heartbreak as the years pass. And when Paris falls to the Nazis, Coco is forced to make choices that will haunt her. An enthralling novel of an extraordinary woman who created the life she desired, Mademoiselle Chanel explores the inner world of a woman of staggering ambition whose strength, passion and artistic vision would become her trademark.
NOW IN PAPERBACK! A modern look at the life of a fashion icon—with practical life lessons for women of all ages Delving into the extraordinary life of renowned French fashion designer Coco Chanel, Karen Karbo has written a new kind of self-help book, exploring Chanel's philosophy on a range of universal themes—from style to passion, from money and success to femininity and living life on your own terms.
Coco Chanel lived her own life as a romantic heroine. Fueled by 19th century literature, she built a life which was partly myth and partly factual. She was the fashion designer everyone admired. The business woman whose fortune was impossible to track. She was also a performer, lover of many high profile intellectuals and, as believed by many, a Nazi spy. Her life was, extraordinarily, affected by history (the Nazi movement and World War II), symbolism and literature. This biography explores her life from her troubled and poor past to the opening of her first hat shop, passions and secrets; the biography also draws parallelisms between myths and facts and how, and if ever, they match at all. The biography also features chapters on the Chanel Maison and the creation of her iconic trademark as well as her little black dress and Chanel No 5. Finally, the biography ends with a reflection on how the myth of Coco Chanel is represented today in pop culture.
Coco Chanel (1883-1971) is one of the twentieth century's most captivating personalities and a defining figure in fashion history. Yet whoever attempts to understand Chanel's life is confronted by countless myths, half-truths and rumours. In this book Justine Picardie discovers the woman behind the legend, and tells Chanel's story with a flair and clarity of which Coco herself would approve. Chanel - Her Life explores every facet of Chanel's universe: her fascinating private life as well as the famous icons of her fashion empire - the tweed jacket, the little black dress, N° 5 perfume, the pearls, the camellia... The result is a comprehensive biography that reveals Chanel's style to be the outcome of rigorous elegance, resolute self-belief and a determinedly unconventional stance. Picardie was granted access to Chanel's archives and is the first author to have examined previously undiscovered private archives in the United Kingdom and France; and this unique knowledge underpins Chanel - Her Life. The book, designed and with drawings by Karl Lagerfeld, is the definitive biography of the tantalisingly elusive Coco Chanel.
The essential little black dress, the elegant suit with the gold-buttoned jacket, the freedom to wear slacks — modern women still draw upon the innovations of Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel. The twentieth-century's fashion doyenne began her long and brilliant career by replacing the traditional corset with the comfort and casual grace of simple but exquisitely tailored outfits. This collection features three dolls and twenty-eight authentic costumes that illustrate Chanel's haute couture history and the enduring appeal and influence of her designs.