Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life

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9780007317615: Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life

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 beautifully illustrated, impeccably written 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 far darker. Throwing new light on her passionate and turbulent relationships, this beautifully constructed portrait gives a fresh and penetrating look at how Coco Chanel made herself into her own most powerful creation. Justine Picardie brings the mysterious Gabrielle Chanel out of hiding, to celebrate her great achievements. 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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From the Back Cover:

Sleek. Chic. Notoriously guarded. Welcome to the secret world of Gabrielle Chanel.

The story of Chanel begins with an abandoned child, as lost as a girl in a dark fairy tale. Unveiling remarkable new details about Gabrielle Chanel's early years in a convent orphanage, and her flight into unconventional adulthood, Justine Picardie explores what lies beneath the glossy surface of a mythic fashion icon.

Throwing new light on her passionate and turbulent relationships, this beautifully constructed portrait gives a fresh and penetrating look at how Coco Chanel made herself into her own most powerful creation. An authoritative account, based on personal observations and interviews with Chanel's last surviving friends, employees, and relatives, it also unravels her coded language and symbols, and traces the influence of her formative years on her legendary style.

Feared and revered by the rest of the fashion industry, Coco Chanel died in 1971 at the age of eighty-seven. But her legacy lives on. Justine Picardie brings Gabrielle Chanel out of hiding and uncovers the consequences of what Chanel covered up, unpicking the seams between truth and myth in a story that reveals the true heart of fashion.

About the Author:

JUSTINE PICARDIE is the author of five books, including her critically acclaimed memoir If The Spirit Moves You. The former features director of British Vogue, she is currently a fashion columnist for Stella and also writes for several other newspapers and magazines, including the Sunday Telegraph, Harpers Bazaar and Red. She lives in London with her two sons.

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Picardie, Justine
Published by HarperCollins (2010)
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Picardie, Justine
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ISBN 10: 0007317611 ISBN 13: 9780007317615
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