Chanel: Her Style and Her Life

Chanel: Her Style and Her Life

by Janet Wallach
     
 

Coco Chanel was stunningly independent, beautifully feminine, and irresistibly desirable to men; most important, she was never afraid to be herself. No single designer has had as tremendous a hold on style as Chanel. Her vision produced the look that women want today. This book reveals why the impact of Chanel is felt generation after generation. A pioneer in an…  See more details below

Overview

Coco Chanel was stunningly independent, beautifully feminine, and irresistibly desirable to men; most important, she was never afraid to be herself. No single designer has had as tremendous a hold on style as Chanel. Her vision produced the look that women want today. This book reveals why the impact of Chanel is felt generation after generation. A pioneer in an industry dominated by men, she turned her style into the revolutionary chic that set her fashion apart. Borrowing copiously from the wardrobes of her illustrious lovers (among them the Duke of Westminster and the Grand Duke Dimitri of Russia), Chanel took trousers, tweeds, riding clothes, cuff links, and even neckties, and cleverly transformed them into elegant women's wear. Readers will devour all the delectable stories behind such Chanel trademarks as fabulous fake pearls, minimalist hats, comfortable and beautifully structured suits, and legendary perfumes, and will marvel at more than 150 photographs and illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Lynn Karpen
. . .[F]ascinating and visually stunning. . .
The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When she realized that the great love of her life, shipping and coal magnate Arthur "Boy" Capel, wouldn't marry a courtesan, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel settled for his backing in business and opened her first high-fashion shop. According to Wallach's pictorial biography, such pragmatism characterized Chanel throughout her life, as each of her many famous lovers--Igor Stravinsky, Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich and the Duke of Westminster among them--helped her with money, influence or, at the very least, access to a smashing personal wardrobe. Profuse, if sometimes redundant, illustrations chronicle the canny Frenchwoman's progress from fashion iconoclast to couture icon. Wallach earnestly details the designer's innovations: Chanel popularized the jersey and cardigan and pants for women; legitimized costume jewelry; invented the "little black dress"; developed the ubiquitous, eponymous suit, as well as her trademark fragrance, Chanel No. 5. But as biography, the book offers little more than a list of Chanel's accomplishments and acquaintances. Wallach's (Desert Queen) text is variously silly, sentimental and strangely unidiomatic ("her modest means could never match their well-heeled bank accounts"). Some of the more intriguing details, involving the designer's failure in Hollywood and her romantic and financial connections with the Nazis, suggest a complex, calculating, passionate woman. But the book's most telling moments ultimately don't tell enough about the woman who more or less invented the modern fashion industry. 150 photos and illustrations. (Nov.)
Lynn Karpen
. . .[F]ascinating and visually stunning. . . -- The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385488723
Publisher:
Doubleday Publishing
Publication date:
10/20/1998
Pages:
180
Product dimensions:
8.34(w) x 10.34(h) x 0.76(d)

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