Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life Hardcover – 16 Sep 2010
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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
From the Publisher
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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Top Customer Reviews
And in a life that stretched from 1883 to 1971 Chanel met, dressed and romanced a glittering cast of characters: French artists, poets and playboys; Russian royals and musicians; British aristocrats and politicians; German soldiers and intelligence officers; Hollywood producers and film stars. Far from labouring Chanel's association with all of these characters, Picardie steers a delicate and compelling path through the maze of Chanel's social and professional life. And in so doing, she highlights a wealth of intriguing discoveries: the truth about Chanel's controversial wartime activities; the intriguing consequences of her friendship with Churchill; her role as a chatelaine in London society; and her regular visits to the highlands of Scotland to fish for salmon - with spectacular success - in between launching the little black dress and other timeless designs.
The production values of this book are terrific: I've rarely seen paper of this quality in a mainstream book; and the photographs - many never seen before - are sensational. But this is far from being merely a beautiful picture book that will appeal to followers of style and fashionistas: it is a truly comprehensive biography written in Picardie's distinctively personal style which carries the weight of her thorough research lightly.
All the major aspects are explored in terms of her style, her muse's, her brand 'development' if you like - how did an abandoned little girl turn into one of the Worlds greatest style icon's? Chapters include information on her iconic statements - the linked C logo, the tweed, number 5, the riviera stripes and THAT bag - the 2.55 (I would personally kill for one!!!)- if any of these items make you salivate,this is a must buy! Essentially, she was a fascinating woman - a legend - and I loved the way JP humanised her and brought her back down to Earth by highlighting her foibles as well as her achievements and this really brought her to life for me.
Her journey is fascinating and excellently documented here - I have to salute JP!
Chanel invented many versions of her own story and Picardie clearly went to great lengths to research this biography and to tease out (as far as it is ever possible to do) the truth from Chanel's fictions. I feel Chanel still remains something of an enigma ,as though she lets no one, regardeless of how hard they try, quite get to the essence of her. I also felt there was a huge sadness in her despite her spectacular successes. She changed the way women dressed and thought about themselves, in a way male fashion designers never did.
This is an absolutely fascinating account and beautifully produced book with lots of photographs (wish they could have been bigger), many never published before and illustrations. Reviewed by Mary Smith author of No More Mulberries
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought as a gift, came quickly, interesting story. Has since been sold on though...Published 3 months ago by A. Frostwick
The item was as new just as it was described in the ad. It seems that no one had opened the book before but the photo cover had a minor wear, perhaps, from trasportation. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Alexandru Diduc
Speedy delivery but item poorly packaged & book a little rough around the edges, tatty cover & corners. Shame!!Published 19 months ago by james swap
I have not read it as it was bought for a friend but I think she enjoyed it.Published 19 months ago by patricia
Justine Picardie's book on Coco Chanel is marvelous, the quality of the book is extraordinary and it is very informative. I love it.Published 24 months ago by Patricia
It was an effort to finish it.The only reason I did was because it was chosen by my book club and I felt duty-bound to see it through. Read morePublished on 15 July 2014 by Sophie