Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel, originally uploaded by retrogemkitty7.

I just finished reading "Chanel: A Woman of her Own" by Axel Madsen. It's a wonderfully detailed account of the life & times of one of my favorite designers... a woman who came from an impoverished background & was left at an orphanage by her father at an early age, yet eventually ran an internationally acclaimed fashion house & created iconic pieces that are still in vogue today (think: 2.55 handbag, little black dress, &, of course, the Chanel suit.) Madsen goes into great detail about Chanel's numerous amours, who included English polo player "Boy" Capel & the German spy "Spatz". Chanel counted Igor Stravinsky, Jean Cocteau, Winston Churchill, & many other 20th-century luminaries among her friends. She strongly disliked Dior's "New Look" & the designs of Elsa Schiaparelli - styles of which I am a great fan - but I have such admiration for Coco's work that I guess I can forgive her. Almost. At any rate, I would call Madsen's book a must-read for those interested in fashion. Now if you'll excuse me, I must go & spritz myself with Chanel No. 5.

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