Chanel. The name means fashion and perfume, emancipation and casual feminine allure. Gabrielle Chanel began as a kept woman making hats for her lover's other mistresses and went on to become fashion's greatest career woman. She never married or had children, but men like Igor Stravinsky and the Duke of Westminster abandoned their families for her. ...
Chanel. The name means fashion and perfume, emancipation and casual feminine allure. Gabrielle Chanel began as a kept woman making hats for her lover's other mistresses and went on to become fashion's greatest career woman. She never married or had children, but men like Igor Stravinsky and the Duke of Westminster abandoned their families for her. Now Axel Madsen tells Chanel's story. Scheduled to become a TV miniseries starring Jane Seymour. 32 illustrations.
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Although this is not a quick or a compelling read, it does give the reader a glimpse into the politics of the time through the eyes of a woman trying to keep a business afloat during Hitler's occupation of France. While her lifestyle definitely is not that of a middle class person, it is interesting to read about what is perceived to be her notions of love and life.
Publishers Weekly, 1991-07-25 French designer Gabrielle ``Coco'' Chanel (1883-1971) created elegant women's clothing and had a succession of celebrated friends and lovers from Winston Churchill to Igor Stravinsky. ``Madsen does a commendable job of ferreting out the seeming truth of a woman apparently as deft at fabricating her own life as she was with a needle and thread,'' said PW. Photos. (Sept.)
Publishers Weekly, 1990-03-16 When it was suggested to the elderly Gabrielle Chanel (1883-1971) that she see a psychiatrist, she replied, ``I, who never told the truth to my priest?'' In this full-length, very readable biography of Coco, as the legendary French designer was called, Madsen does a commendable job of ferreting out the seeming truth of a woman apparently as deft at fabricating her life as she was with a needle and thread. The biographer of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir is at his best here when synthesizing his subject from known facts and suppositions, beginning with Chanel's penniless start as an orphan to her death at age 88 in a hotel room, alone--except for a maid--a millionaire designer of inventive clothing for women, from the famed ``little black dress'' to sportswear. With great stamina, Madsen chronicles Chanel's meteoric rise and the succession of celebrated friends and lovers she met along the way: Winston Churchill and Igor Stravinsky, to name two, fell under her spell. And if the designer's life was extravagant, the genius of her style lay, as Madsen tells it, in simplicity and a regard for function. Photos not seen by PW. (May)
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