Clothes, for Coco Channel, were for freedom and forgetting. Women should be able to walk, to drive, to ride their bicycles and to forget what they are wearing. The baroque evening gown was exchanged for that little black dress, worn with a single string of pearls. Gabrielle Chanel was born in a poorhouse in ; her parents were unmarried and, according to Chanel, when she was six, her mother, Jeanne, died of tuberculosis. According to Chanel, her father then left her in the care of two spinster aunts; he in fact placed her in a convent in the medieval village of Aubazine.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Coco Chanel by Justine Picardie. In Coco Chanel, Justine Picardie peels away the layers of romance and myth surrounding the legend of Coco Chanel, revealing the true history of the incredible woman who shaped modern fashion and created an empire of haute couture.
Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published September 21st by It Books first published November 1st More Details Original Title. Coco Chanel. Other Editions Friend Reviews.
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Coco Chanel , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Aug 19, Rebecca Grace rated it really liked it Shelves: biography. The author's sycophantic tone nearly turned me off the book in the first chapter. Millions of girls were born in poor houses and raised in convents in the late 19th century, and most of them lived and died in the squalor and obscurity of their origins.
Somehow Gabr The author's sycophantic tone nearly turned me off the book in the first chapter. Somehow Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel was able almost single-handedly to reinvent not only herself, but also to recreate entirely the way women dressed, inventing modern women's clothing that both recognized and enabled the new role of women in society. Bankrolling the Ballets Russe? Hiring an exiled Russian Archduchess to embroider for the House of Chanel? I'm not even halfway through the book and I can't put it down.
I see in Chanel the same spirit as strong, entrepreneurial women such as Oprah, Madonna, and Martha Stewart -- women who largely invented a market for their talents and abilities that didn't exist before them, and whose success resulted chiefly from their ability to seize the cultural current of their time and create a persona that millions of other women could either identify with or aspire to.
Nov 14, Lisa Rogers rated it did not like it Shelves: stopped-reading. I wanted to like this book but it just didn't make sense. A biographer should know better than to throw all her research at the reader, bit by unimportant bit, and then leave the reader to sort it out. The author is content to tell Coco Chanel's story by listing the things she says about herself, what others say about her, then never clears up the incongruence by telling us what her research turned up on the matter.
As a result, I know less about Chanel than when I began! The photos are small, p I wanted to like this book but it just didn't make sense. The photos are small, poorly captioned, and dull.
How this book was an "international bestseller" as the cover claims is beyond me. View all 4 comments. Sep 26, Anna rated it liked it. Her mother came from a peasant family and worked as a maid in a rich family.
And she lose her family when she was 6 years old. But fortunate, god give her adroit hands, And she is skillful in spinning. Which open the door for this poor girl. When she only 20, she already became a mature, kind and pretty girl. Who singing in the bar everyday. Chanel's hats sell well because she sees the fashion trend. In this process, Chanel met the second man, played a crucial role.
The second man is Author Capel. But they didn't work out. And he is the most important man in Chanel life ever, most importantly, he trusted her. Yes, Capel was the first man who truly believed in Chanel in her ability to succeed. Capel introduced Chanel to an English tailor, and they began to design some cloth that Chanel think fashion. Chanel lost Capel completely in , when he was died in a car accident. Chanel was very sad. And everything are gone. She created her famous little black dress, in memory of Capel.
It wasn't long before she found new male companions , British duke of Westminster. Although her business was good, it didn't last long. When world war II came, she closed her shop. After world war ii, she returned on her work, and design a lot unique product. On January 10, , Chanel said goodbye to the life she created and died peacefully. That the colorful life she create.
To tell the truth, with the progress of human civilization and the improvement of the level of science and technology, the status of women in the society has gradually improved. Just like the classic black dress she created, the author not only added his own predict of why she make this artwork, but also added small details on each part of dress, and Chanel's first perfume, No5, 5 is her lucky number, which is also the origin of the name of this perfume.
Those stories, also fully explained care and time pay for her each work, this is also the reason why she became the representative of fashion. And this book is really meaningful, because it record a true principle in that time in Europe, she also stand up for all the woman. And the another reason is this is the first time I read a biography in English, so this book seem interesting to me, and before I read this kind of book, I always think this kind of book will be really boring.
Picardie, Justine. Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life. London: Harper Collins, Apr 27, Ruth rated it it was ok Shelves: biographies. It took me a while to decide on the rating I should give this book. It is an interesting well-written book.. So why two stars? When I was looking for a book about Chanel I was looking to find information and inspiration, as a young professional woman, a designer in a male-dominated industry I wanted to hear her voice, to understand her creative vision, to learn more about her business decisions and how a woman from a plane background managed to create an empire in an era when women had to fight It took me a while to decide on the rating I should give this book.
When I was looking for a book about Chanel I was looking to find information and inspiration, as a young professional woman, a designer in a male-dominated industry I wanted to hear her voice, to understand her creative vision, to learn more about her business decisions and how a woman from a plane background managed to create an empire in an era when women had to fight for the right to do business.
I found very little of this in the book. It is a book about a woman who had a string of romantic affairs with interesting men.. And it does not do her justice. She is famous today for building a Fashion Empire. But after reading this book you might mistakenly think that fashion was secondary, tiny part of her life while her main occupation was looking for the next high profile lover jumping from one scandal to another.
My feeling after reading this book is one of a miss. If you have a recommendation of a book about her that speaks more about her business acumen and creative vision please leave a note in the comments. View 1 comment. Feb 15, Miriam Cihodariu rated it liked it Shelves: france , non-fiction. I liked the incursion into the actual biography of Gabrielle Chanel, including the way the author tries to trace her steps through the web of fake data the woman liked to provide about herself.
A true drama queen, the fashion legend always changed the facts whenever talking about her past, so her actual origins and details about her childhood or her actual age have always been pretty elusive. The book was criticized for being too descriptive bordering on boring. While it's indeed not in my st I liked the incursion into the actual biography of Gabrielle Chanel, including the way the author tries to trace her steps through the web of fake data the woman liked to provide about herself.
Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life
Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life by Justine Picardie: review