Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life

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9780061963858: Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life

The much anticipated and beautifully illustrated Sunday Times Bestselling Biography Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life was first released to great critical acclaim in 2010. Now the paperback edition of Justine Picardie’s biography of the French fashion designer Gabrielle Chanel has arrived.

The Mail on Sunday calls it 'gripping', the Sunday Times declares it to be 'fascinating', the Telegraph 'elegant' and 'brilliant'; while the Daily Mail hails it as a ‘vividly told account, in the style of Chanel herself’. This is the definitive biography of a heroine who founded the most successful fashion label in history; a woman that transformed her life into a myth veiled in enigma and scandal; whose talent and innovation endures beyond her own pioneering sartorial creations. Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life was written by Justine Picardie as a celebration and investigation of Chanel’s phenomenal achievements. Shortlisted for the Galaxy National Book Awards, selling over 50,000 copies thus far, and now translated into 15 languages worldwide, this eloquent biography has revealed the hidden secrets of the legendary Chanel.

After a decade on the trail of previously unseen evidence left by Chanel, the author’s exploration of Chanel’s extraordinary life traces the emergence of an inventor and storyteller who rose above the poverty into which she was born. Following clues to Coco’s early years in a convent and passionate love affairs with playboys, artists and aristocrats, Justine Picardie deftly weaves together the lost threads of Chanel’s life. In doing so, she uncovers how an abandoned child came to conjure up the iconic creations that were proudly worn by legends in their own right, from Jackie Kennedy to Marilyn Monroe, who famously declared that she went to bed in nothing but Chanel No.5.

The pioneer of the little black dress, bobbed hair and trousers for women, Chanel was so much more than a couture aficionado; for in reinventing herself, she was also to become one of the most influential women in history.

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Product Description:

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 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.

Review:

‘Gripping… 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

‘Fascinating. Chanel was a tragic figure of almost Shakespearean aspect – hugely successful, fiercely strong-willed, yet fatally flawed and eventually filled with regret.’ Sunday Times

‘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

‘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

‘[An] elegant book…The Chanel uncovered by Picardie is a storyteller [who] spun her own myth… Coco has, in these pages, come out of hiding.’ The Telegraph

‘A detailed and captivating read’ Red Magazine

‘A brilliant biography’ Grazia

‘Picardie sheds new light on the intensely private designer… Impressive’ Stylist Magazine

‘The darker facets [of Chanel] are subtly and carefully revealed by Justine Picardie.’ Wall Street Journal

‘Justine Picardie sheds new light on the darker truths behind the glossy myth… Guaranteed to be the most well-read accessory at London Fashion Week.’ Daily Express

‘Justine Picardie’s thoughtful and beautifully illustrated Life … illuminates the iconoclast who might justifiably be said to have invented the twentieth-century woman.’ Times Literary Supplement

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