Chanel and Her World: Friends, Fashion, and Fame

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Harry N. Abrams, Mar 9, 2005 - Design - 384 pages
2 Reviews
Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel (1883-1971) is a fashion icon unlike any other. She invented modern clothing for women: at the height of the Belle poque, 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 model pictorial biography.” ~ New York Times
 
"This Chanel biography is as elegantly turned out as its subject.” ~ The Washington Post
 
"This lavish photo tome brings depth to Chanel’s sleek fa ade while revealing the fascinating woman behind it.” ~ W
 
"Edmonde Charles-Roux (is) one of (Chanel’s) best biographers.” ~ The New Yorker
 
"There have been many books about Chanel, but this is the great classic.” ~ Art of the Times
 
"This beautiful volume contains hundreds of photographs and lively prose by its author, Edmonde Charles-Roux.” ~ American Salon
 
"Provides insight into the development of her sense of style and underscores the timelessness of her vision.” ~ Veranda

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Chanel and her world: friends, fashion, and fame

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Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel for decades was the pillar of French fashion but also moved in circles with Picasso, Stravinsky, Jean Cocteau, and other artists of her day. There's more to her story than fancy clothes and pricey perfume. Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Edmonde Charles-Roux was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France on April 17, 1920. Soon after the fall of France in World War II, she received a nursing diploma and volunteered to serve in an ambulance corps of the French Foreign Legion. At Verdun, she was wounded during an aerial bombardment of the field hospital where she was working but stayed at her post. After serving with the Resistance in Provence, she was wounded again when the First French Army advanced into Austria. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honor. In 1946, she worked as a writer for Elle. Two years later, she began writing for the French edition of Vogue. She was the editor in chief there from 1954 to 1966. Her first novel, To Forget Palermo, was published in 1966 and won the Prix Goncourt, France's biggest literary prize. Her other works include Chanel: Her Life, Her World - and the Woman Behind the Legend She Herself Created; Chanel and Her World; She, Adrienne; and a two-volume biography of the Swiss explorer and writer Isabelle Eberhardt. She died on January 20, 2016 at the age of 95.

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