Chanel: Her Life, Her World, and the Woman Behind the Legend She Herself Created

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MacLehose, 2009 - Fashion design - 416 pages
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She revolutionized how women looked. She banned corsets, shortened skirts and scented the world with Chanel No.5. Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel was an icon. But how closely did her carefully moulded image match the truth?

Born illegitimate and raised in an orphanage - not by the two aunts that she invented - Gabrielle Chanel fought constantly to escape the mundane. She rose from back-street milliner to become the head of a vast business empire, and socialised with Picasso, Stravinsky and Cocteau. Edmonde Charles-Roux also reveals one of Chanel's best-kept secrets - her love affair with a prodigal German spy.

Chanel's legend did not fade with her death, and nor has the mark of sheer elegance that she left upon the world of fashion. This is the living woman behind the vibrant legend.

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I am fortunate enough to own an early 'coffee table sized' edition of this work, which contains many photographs and illustrations of CoCo's public and private life and creativeness. I note many other ... Read full review


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About the author (2009)

Edmonde Charles-Roux served as a nurse and a Resistance worker in World War II, before beginning a career as a journalist writing for Elle and Paris Match. For twelve years she was Editor-in-Chief of the French edition of Vogue. She has written another biography, Don Juan of Austria, and two novels, Elle, Adrienne and To Forget Palermo, which won the Prix Goncourt. Nancy Amphoux is the translator of many major biographies, including those of Tolstoy, Turgenev and Pushkin.

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