I recently started reading the Coco Chanel biography by Lisa Chaney and have become obsessed with Coco Chanel all over again.
Here she is in all her glory, circa 1940s
And here’s Audrey Tautou as her in Coco Before Chanel
Here a few facts about the wonderful Chanel:
- She was born in France in 1883 and was part of a big family, as one of five children, and she was born Gabrielle Chanel.
- When Coco was 12, her mother passed away from tuberculosis and her father left the family; she spent the next six years in an orphanage.
- She became a licensed hat-maker and owned her first shop in 1910.
- She introduced her first perfume, Chanel No. 5, in 1922.
- She invented the “Little Black Dress” in 1926, which French Vogue dubbed “Chanel’s Ford”, for its practicality and marketability.
- She is credited with popularizing the concept of “costume jewelry” in the 1920s.
- She introduced the idea of using jersey fabric to create clothing, which had prior been used only for men’s undergarments.
- Her classic Chanel suit became famous for its flattering cut, simple fabric, and specially weighted lining, to give it that perfect hang.
- She died in 1971 at the Ritz Hotel in Paris at the age of 87.
I highly suggest you pick up the book if you’re interested at all, and definitely watch Coco Before Chanel, it’s a wonderful movie with insight to one of the most famous fashion designers.