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Coco Chanel: A Biography | Paperback

Released on 03 August 2009

Author: Axel Madsen | Format: Paperback

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Coco Chanel's genius for fashion may have been distilled in simplicity, but her life was an extravaganza. A brilliant array of luminaries fell under her spell - Picasso, Churchill, Cocteau; lovers included the Grand Duke Dmitri; the English roue, Boy Capel; a French poet; and, a German spy and the Duke of Westminster, who offered to leave his wife for her permanently, if she would only bear him an heir. Paradoxically, though she might have been regarded in some lights as a pioneering feminist - sacrificing marriage to a revolutionary career in couture - Chanel was utterly baffled by the idea of women's politics. Educated women? 'A woman's education consists of two lessons: never leave the house without stockings, never go out without a hat'. Chanel's rise from penniless orphan to millionaire designer - 'inventing' sportswear, the little black dress and number 5 - makes compelling reading, not least because she was inclined to design her own life as deftly as she did her fashions. Axel Madsen negotiates Chanel's smoke screens with skill, bringing this tantalizing woman to life in all her alluring complexity.

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 Incredible Story

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This is an incredibly story, all the more so because it is a true rags to riches story. It starts with poverty, and slowly moves to Chanel's relationships with rich men (there were many) then on to her journey via these men to become the icon (period) of the couture fashion and perfume world. Along the way there are aristocrats, artists, international royality, film stars, politics and two world wars. It is a detailed story that looks at her life and the times/period. I would have liked to have seen more detail on her couture work in this book.

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AuthorAxel Madsen
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing PLC (United Kingdom)
Year2009
ISBN9781408805817
FormatPaperback - 400 Pages
IllustrationsIllustrations