Discover the fascinating world of COCO CHANEL and friends during War, Peace and Survival.
CHANEL had a unique history among France’s Couture royalty. As a ‘self-made’ woman her life was one of unique triumphs and tragedies. She would often say that sacrifice for her work was both a blessing and a curse. CHANEL lead a solitary that was focused on her work. Yet, her desire for a “family of friends” who were loyal to her is one character trait that is not often spoken about; this part of her history is accurately detailed in this book. Her creation of a beautiful Villa, La Pausa in the South of France was a haven for family and friends. The architecture and design was the perfect embodiment of her ideals. Well researched from diaries, conversations, memoirs and histories, the “Golden Years” between the two World Wars was a unique time in France. Author Ann de Courcey has finally filled in many of the gaps in the CHANEL story that is often forgotten.
The arts, culture, literature, and society flourished in this period. It was not just a “French” movement but touched both the American ideals of individuality as well as supporting the last great stand of the British Aristocracy portrayed by Winston Churchill. The Second World War touched the sunny shores of Southern France which had been protected by distance but later was one of the central areas of the Resistance. Here Chanel and friends were living as best as they could; this narrative shares the daily lives, loves and adventures of this extraordinary circle of people. The book carefully builds the history of the period as it connects to CHANEL and her relationships.
CHANEL has some well known love affairs in her time, the most notable being with the DUKE OF WESTMINSTER who at the time was the wealthiest man in England. Her famous lover, BOY CAPEL was the love of her life and tragically killed in a car accident. This was a sadness from which she never recovered. She had a lover related to the Russian Imperial family and (somewhat of a controversy) also lived with a high ranking German Officer/Diplomat for a period in the RITZ HOTEL another interesting chapter.
One should prepared for the list of people that CHANEL knew that touched all walks of life from the Courts of Europe and Imperial Russia to the offices of the British Government. The list of characters in this extraordinary drama is filled with famous luminaries and obscure heroes or heroines who touched her life. She could be both generous and vindictive. Most of all, she lived her life on her own terms. She both revolutionized fashion for women and gave them permission to make their own decisions. She continues to live on in her most famous fragrance, CHANEL No.5.
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