The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman

The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman

Hardcover(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599215235
Publisher: Skirt!
Publication date: 09/01/2009
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 343,812
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Karen Karbo is the author of three novels, all of which were named New York Times Notable Books; four nonfiction books—including How to Hepburn, which the Philadelphia Inquirer called “an exuberant celebration of a great original,” and The Stuff of Life, a People Magazine’s Critic’s Choice—and three books for young adults. Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Outside, Elle, Vogue, More, and Chesley McLaren, known as “The French Illustrator in New York” for her Francophile style, has also worked as a Fifth Avenue fashion designer. She is the author/illustrator of several books, and her work has appeared in Town & Country, Vogue, InStyle, and Elle.

Read an Excerpt

Delving into the long, extraordinary life of renowned French fashion designer Coco Chanel, Karen Karbo has written a new kind of 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. Born in 1883 in a poorhouse in southern France to unmarried parents, Chanel was raised in a convent after her mother died when she was six and her father abandoned her. The nuns taught her to sew, and while working as a café singer in the early 1900s she began designing hats for fun. Her lovers included a wealthy English industrialist, who helped her set up her own millinery shop and steered his society friends her way. Chanel grew up to be the woman who not only gave us the little black dress and boxy jackets, but also popularized pants for women and easy, practical clothes that allowed women a chic freedom they’d never known before. In her strong-headed, elegant, opinionated, passionate, entirely French way, Coco Chanel helped bring women into the modern era. She was the only fashion icon to be named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century.The Gospel According to Coco Chanel is a captivating, offbeat look at style, celebrity, and self-invention—all held together with Karbo’s droll Chanel-style commentary and culled from an examination of Chanel’s difficult childhood and triumphant adulthood, passionate love affairs, career choices, habits, eccentricities, and personal philosophies. Weaving Chanel’s life story into chapter themes that subtly convey life lessons, and with Chesley McLaren’s charming illustrations, it will leave the reader utterly entranced with, and inspired by, Chanel’s amazing individuality, confidence, and determination.

Table of Contents

1 On Style 1

2 On Self-Invention 25

3 On Fearlessness 43

4 On Surviving Passion 61

5 On Embracing the Moment 79

6 On Success 93

7 On Cultivating Arch Rivals 111

8 On Money 133

9 On Femininity 155

10 On Time 175

11 On Living Life on Your Own Terms 193

12 On Elegance: The Gospel According to Coco Chanel 221

Acknowledgments 227

About the Author 231

Customer Reviews

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Gospel According to Coco Chanel 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
007woman More than 1 year ago
Coco Chanel is a fascinating woman -- smart, talented, enigmatic, French, fearless--so there is little to dissuade one from delving into such a life story. I think Karen Karbo does it well with her dry smarmy wit. It does ramble a bit, but the rambling kept my attention. I would highly recommend it! I'm glad I own it; I'll reread again in a year or two!
Franne47 More than 1 year ago
Chanel fan or not this history/fun book tells you all you want to know and more about the rise of this legend in the fashion world. As a women of a certain age that bumped her head against the glass ceiling many times it was fun to read about how Coco pushed ahead where no female had gone before. Her nerve and iron will made me wince and smile all at the same time. As a Paris lover it was also great to read about places I have been...the shop where you are snubed...the streets I have walked on. Karen...after reading this I feel I can call her that...added her own twists and comments at just the right places. Thank you for an enjoyable read.
sabrinaNJ More than 1 year ago
Great book & makes you look at life differently. Coco Chanel's life is outlined and split up into life lessons. My mom read this book as well and we both loved it. I recommend this inspiring book, especially if your into fashion.
Tiffani Freeman More than 1 year ago
This is such a truthful book written in a fun and easy style! Enjoyable stories and pretty pictures kept me interested...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Karbo give us all the goods on Chanel - the good, the bad and the ugly. With an unbiased approach, she chronicles Chanel's life and philosophies. Thanks, Karbo, for noting the differences between Coco's "Chanel" and Lagerfeld's "Chanel."
Syntax404 More than 1 year ago
Karbo is a brilliant writer and has produced a incredibly relatable exploration of Coco Chanel's life. Bravo!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anyone who kbows me knows I love Chanel, can't begin to afford it, #5 doesn't smell good on me,anthing Chabel is never my size as a BBW, and given my druthers, I'd even buy a knockoff bag. So, Karen Kabo and I need to sit diwn and have coffee because her book conedebses why, in some ways we shoukd ALL love Chanel, because not only did she change fashion, she was a true self promoter and embidued the piwer of positive thinking. Woven with her own stories, Kabo plows right into Chanelore:fact and fiction, telling us why she endures. My Mother's favorite saying was something she attributed to her father, a jewelry designer and manufacturor, but, as I surmised a decade or so ago, is a Chanel-ism. So, even my mother was affected by Chanel: the designer, the femme fatale, the savvy business woman and the guru who would slap Carrie Bradshaw silly if she saw her in the Chanel "lite" top I did on TV today. A book for entrepenurs as well as practical people, this book is well worth reading
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CocoChanelEL More than 1 year ago
This book was an impulse buy. I got it home and was so anxious about reading it, until I found myself reading more about Karen Karbo, than life lessons, and Chanel. I do not care about her career, her income, why she can't afford the fake Chanel things on ebay... I care about Chanel.
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