Justine Picardie has spent the last decade puzzling over the truth about Coco Chanel, attempting to peel away the accretions of romance and lies. In this full-scale biography we finally discover the history of the incredible woman who created the way we look now. Coco Chanel was an extraordinary inventor - she conjured up the little black dress, bobbed hair, trousers for women, contemporary chic, best-selling perfumes, and the most successful fashion brand of all time - but she also invented herself, fashioning the myth of her own life with the same dexterity as her couture. While Chanel was supreme innovator and vendor of all things elegant and beautiful, what lies beneath her own glossy myth is darker. In this book, Justine Picardie brings the mysterious Gabrielle Chanel out of hiding, to celebrate her great achievements, at the same time as casting a clear eye over her transgressions. She examines Chanel's enduring afterlife, as well as her remarkable life, uncovering the consequences of what she covered up, unpicking the seams between truth and legend, yet keeping intact the real fabric of her past.
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"[A] gripping new biography... In the deftest prose, Picardie plots one of the most extraordinary lives of the 20th Century. The book is lavishly illustrated, too, with images of iconic outfits and intimate photos from Chanel's private albums.'--Mail on Sunday, September 26, 2010
The author is at her best in the analysis of (Chanel's) throw-away lines, picking up every discarded clue and using it suggestively. --Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2010
(An) elegant book...The Chanel uncovered by Picardie is a storyteller. --The Telegraph Review, October 2, 2010
"Justine Picardie’s vividly told account of Coco Chanel’s life has all the elements of a novel: the mystery, the sense of loss, the quest for fame and fortune, the distinguished lovers... in the style of Chanel herself."--Daily Mail, October 8, 2010
'The French fashion icon finds a shrewd and sympathetic interpreter in Justine Picardie... this handsome volume cleverly blends the life and afterlife of the enigma who became a brand."--The Independent, November 1, 2010
VIDEO PHOTO CREDITS:
© "Collection Schall" Photo Roger Schall (Chanel, reclining on her beige sofa, in her apartment, 1938)
Jean Moral © 1938 (Chanel at the dressing table in her suite at the Ritz hotel, Paris)
© Jérôme Gautier (Stairs and detail of window at Aubazine Abbey)
© Frédérik Astier/Sygma/Corbis (Double C of Chanel's logo)
Hugo Vickers Collection (Chanel in the drawing room at Eaton Hall, photographed by the Duchess of Marlborough and Chanel at the races with Winston Churchill)
Jean Moral © 1938 (Chanel in pearls)
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Book Description HarperCollins, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110007317611
Book Description HarperCollins, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0007317611