Coco Chanel by Lisa Chaney
An Intimate Life

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Synopsis

The controversial story of Chanel, the twentieth century's foremost fashion icon.

Revolutionizing women's dress, Gabrielle "Coco'' Chanel was the twentieth century's most influential designer. Her extraordinary and unconventional journey-from abject poverty to a new kind of glamour- helped forge the idea of modern woman.

Unearthing an astonishing life, this remarkable biography shows how, more than any previous designer, Chanel became synonymous with a rebellious and progressive style. Her numerous liaisons, whose poignant and tragic details have eluded all previous biographers, were the very stuff of legend. Witty and mesmerizing, she became muse, patron, or mistress to the century's most celebrated artists, including Picasso, Dalí, and Stravinsky.

Drawing on newly discovered love letters and other records, Chaney's controversial book reveals the truth about Chanel's drug habit and lesbian affairs. And the question about Chanel's German lover during World War II (was he a spy for the Nazis?) is definitively answered.

While uniquely highlighting the designer's far-reaching influence on the modern arts, Chaney's fascinating biography paints a deeper and darker picture of Coco Chanel than any so far. Movingly, it explores the origins, the creative power, and the secret suffering of this exceptional and often misread woman.

 

About Lisa Chaney

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Lisa Chaney has lectured and tutored in the history of art and literature, made TV and radio broadcasts on the history of culture, and reviewed and written for journals and newspapers, including The Sunday Times, the Spectator and the Guardian. She is the author of two previous biographies: Elizabeth David and Hide-and-Seek With Angels: The Life of J.M. Barrie.
 
Published November 10, 2011 by Penguin Books. 465 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Coco Chanel

The Wall Street Journal

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Orphan, seamstress, mistress, milliner, modernist, couturière, collaborator, brand

Nov 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life

Los Angeles Review of Books

He was also the great accommodator of classicism and modernism, and Chanel was an obvious choice to design the costumes for his Antigone in 1922, a production he described as “a photograph of the Acropolis taken from an airplane.” They collaborated again, two years later, when Chanel dressed the ...

Mar 26 2012 | Read Full Review of Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life

https://lareviewofbooks.org

He was also the great accommodator of classicism and modernism, and Chanel was an obvious choice to design the costumes for his Antigone in 1922, a production he described as “a photograph of the Acropolis taken from an airplane.” They collaborated again, two years later, when Chanel dressed the ...

Mar 26 2012 | Read Full Review of Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life

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