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Chanel (The Universe of Fashion)
by François Baudot
- Genres: fashion, biography, historical, art, france
- Publisher: Universe
- ISBN: 9780789300645 (0789300648)
- Format: hardcover, 80 pages
- Language: english
- Release date: July 15, 1996
- Author: François Baudot
About The Book
The legendary Gabriel (« Coco ») Chanel (1883-1971) is precisely that for the simple reason that her life and accomplishment — even her chronic failure in love — constitute one of the great stories of the modern age. Born into the French peasantry and then raised in a convent orphanage, Chanel grew up an authentic beauty with a gift for fashion, social trends, and business that enabled her literally to invent the look of the 20th century as well as its fragrance. She also had a profound effect upon both its art and culture, using her immense wealth, wit, and social access to support Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, the plays of Jean Cocteau, the music of Igor Stravinsky, and the poems of Pierre Reverdy. Bit by bit, this fearless young genius stripped women of their corsets and feathers, bobbed their hair as well as their skirts, put them in bathing suits, and sent them out to get tanned in the sun. She introduced slacks, dark-toed sling pumps, the « little black dress, » quilted handbags, and the braid-trimmed, brass-buttoned two-piece suit that became her trademark. As for the fabulous costume jewelry, she piled it on mainly because of its power to make simplicity look glorious. Early in the 1920s Chanel launched the first couture perfume — No. 5 — bottled in the famous square-cut flacon, a Cubist-inspired Art Deco icon. She was the first haute-couture designer to work in ballet, theatre, and even film, beginning with a stint in Hollywood for Sam Goldwyn and moving on to Jean Renoir, Lucchino Visconti, and Alain Resnais.
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