Chanel: An Intimate Life


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An Intimate Life , acclaimed biographer Lisa Chaney tells the controversial story of the fashion icon who starred in her tumultuous era. Coco Chanel was many things to many people. Raised in emotional and financial poverty, she became one of the defining figures of the twentieth century.

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She was mistress to aristocrats, artists and spies. It does a good job of conveying the social and political norms of Chanel's times. Chanel was a fascinating yet tortured woman who helped shape the idea of womanhood in our modern era. She influenced much more than just fashion. She had the courage and instinct to risk the accepted norms of her time. She gave woman the freedom to dress and act without the restrictions of the stilted past. I have been interested in the life story of Chanel for some time.


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Such a dark cloud hung over this woman it's surprising she maintained her creativity. No holds barred pertaining to social stigmas, wealth and poverty.

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Review: Chanel, An Intimate Life

I'm finding it so detail oriented that it puts one in the era with a clear understanding of the struggles due to the customs and beliefs of that time. If you have an interest this is some what of a historical documentation. I'm glad to have found it. I've read better-written bios of the iconic designer, but few that included as many facts.

If you're a fan of Mademoiselle, this should be in your library, but only as a complement to other works. Coco Chanel has always been a favorite of mine and although I had read of her life prior to reading this book they were not as complete in every way. Her classic style will always sell One person found this helpful.

Book Review: Chanel: An Intimate Life by Lisa Chaney

I loved this book, though I have to admit at times it was quite dry reading. For anyone who is deeply interested in who Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel truly was and what a glimpse into her life might be like, this book is definitely worth the read. Amazing life of the icon and we'll writtwn. See all 60 reviews. Most recent customer reviews.

Published 1 year ago. Published on August 11, Published on May 28, Published on May 12, Published on May 1, Published on March 30, Published on February 3, Customers who bought this item also bought. Pavlovich, the exiled "heir" to the Russian throne, usually gets short shrift in Chanel biographies, largely because the designer herself characterised him as a spoony young man with whom she went to bed only as a favour. Chaney, though, makes it clear that she needed and enjoyed his companionship; in , Boy had been killed in a car crash, a blow from which Chanel was struggling to recover.

An Intimate Life

Worth noting, too, is Chaney's discovery that Bel Respiro, the French country house bought by Chanel in , was the same property that Boy had purchased for his new wife. I have always wondered about her grief at Capel's loss: But this suggests that it was both real and extremely painful Chaney says that in the months Coco spent living in this shrine, she was "half-cracked".

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Elsewhere, though, we are on familiar ground. Gabrielle Chanel — she took the nickname "Coco" as a young woman from a song she liked to sing in a cafe patronised by cavalry officers — was born in , illegitimate and poor, in the Loire. Her father, absent, was a market trader.

Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life

Chaney is good on the early years — though she makes no connection between the garb of the nuns, and Chanel's famous palette of beige, black and white. In particular, it had not occurred to me before that Chanel would have grown up speaking patois — a fact that reminds you all over again how daring it was of her to promote unloved fabrics such as jersey, and cheap fur such as rabbit: Chanel was a good businesswoman and as she moved from making hats to couture and then, finally, to jewellery and perfume, she amassed a pile of money. But in the beginning, she made good use of other people's fortunes.

Balsan introduced her to Boy, who helped her to finance her first shops her triumphantly successful Deauville boutique opened in When Boy died, and following affairs with Stravinsky and Pavlovich, she took up with the Duke of Westminster, known as Bend'Or to his friends, the richest man in Britain. This relationship clearly worries Chaney.

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Chanel: An Intimate Life Chanel: An Intimate Life
Chanel: An Intimate Life Chanel: An Intimate Life
Chanel: An Intimate Life Chanel: An Intimate Life
Chanel: An Intimate Life Chanel: An Intimate Life

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