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Chanel and Her World

by Edmonde Charles-Roux

Chanel and Her World by Edmonde Charles-Roux

About the Book

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel (1883–1971) is a fashion icon unlike any other. She invented modern clothing for women: at the height of the Belle Époque, she stripped women of their corsets and feathers, bobbed their hair, put them in bathing suits, and sent them out to get tanned in the sun. She introduced slacks, costume jewelry, and the exquisitely comfortable suit. She made the first couture perfume—No. 5—which remains the most popular scent ever created. In this beautiful volume, the glorious life of the incomparable Coco Chanel shines again through hundreds of illustrations and the lively prose of Edmonde Charles-Roux, her official biographer and close friend. Chanel knew and collaborated with the likes of Picasso, Diaghilev, Stravinsky, Cocteau, Jean Renoir, and Visconti—even as she matched their modernist innovations by liberating women from the prison of 19th Century fashion and introducing a whole new concept of elegance. The staggering collection of photographs amassed by the author over decades of friendship with Chanel sheds new light on one of the great stories of the modern age

About the Author

"If style never goes out of fashion, then a biography of Coco Chanel shouldn't either. First published 25 years ago and out of print for the last decade, Charles-Roux's book was originally all black and white, but large color photos and illustrations have been added for this reissue, and the layout has been redesigned as well. (The text remains the same.) As a former editor-in-chief of French Vogue for 12 years and a longtime friend of Chanel, Charles-Roux collected a lot of photos of the fashion icon and of those allowed into her inner circle. She shares many of them in this massive biography, which follows Chanel's journey from her birth on August 20, 1883, to her days as a shop girl in Moulins to her triumph in, and transformation of, the fashion world. The book also provides insight into how Chanel's style developed and how its evolution was related to her defiance of the social conventions of her time; Coco was a great friend of the Cubists and she shared many of their avante-garde tastes. Charles-Roux's analysis may occasionally have more style than substance, but this balance would hardly have bothered Chanel, for whom style was always everything. And with a Chanel exhibition coming up at the Metropolitan Museum in May, 2005, it seems unlikely that this book will every be out of print for so long again."—Publishers Weekly



 • “A model pictorial biography.”—New York Times
 •  “This Chanel biography is as elegantly turned out as its subject.”—The Washington Post
 •  “This lavish photo tome brings depth to Chanel’s sleek façade while revealing the fascinating woman behind it.”—W
 •  “Edmonde Charles-Roux (is) one of (Chanel’s) best biographers.”—The New Yorker
 •  “There have been many books about Chanel, but this is the great classic.”—Art of the Times
 •  “This beautiful volume contains hundreds of photographs and lively prose by its author, Edmonde Charles-Roux.”—American Salon
 •  “Provides insight into the development of her sense of style and underscores the timelessness of her vision.”—Veranda