Read Chanel: Her Life, Her World, and the Woman Behind the Legend She Herself Created by Edmonde Charles-Roux Free Online
Book Title: Chanel: Her Life, Her World, and the Woman Behind the Legend She Herself Created|
The author of the book: Edmonde Charles-Roux
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 11.86 MB
Edition: Random House
Date of issue: November 1st 1975
ISBN 13: 9780394476131
Read full description of the books Chanel: Her Life, Her World, and the Woman Behind the Legend She Herself Created:I know nothing about fashion and have never had much interest in it, but my mind has opened on the topic lately, not just because of Prince’s death. I had dinner a few years ago with a visiting author, Sandra Cisneros, who noted that Japanese men are more fashion conscious, in general, than American men. After that, I noticed her attention to clothes and cloth in Caramelo and that was interesting. So perhaps that was a seed.
I have not read a biography in quite a long time, and the author of this one, Edmonde Charles-Roux, passed away in January. Reading about her (editor-in-chief of the French edition of Vogue, novelist, rights activists) and my slightly increased interest in fashion made me consider giving this a chance. Coco Chanel’s times overlapped others I’ve read about, such as Hemingway’s and Picasso’s, so I thought her story might offer me a new perspective on a time period I had some familiarity with. That happens, somewhat, but the read was unsatisfying.
The book consists of mini-texts, longer than captions but not necessarily more substantial, and lots of photographs. I welcomed the photographs and even the brief sections, but the writing was odd. The voice was strange, maybe due to the translation, maybe due to the book’s age. Perhaps the author wrote for someone with prior knowledge, not only of Chanel’s story and times but of the author’s times and her era’s consensus evaluation of Chanel. I often had trouble determining the author’s attitude, whether it was fawning or critical or both or what! One reviewer mentioned having this text without the photographs. That must have been horrible. Without the photos to examine and enjoy, I would not have finished it.
The writing was vague, impressionistic, and/or obscure. The order and subject matter of the mini-texts was sometimes disjointed and confusing. They are slotted into chapters that almost add clarity, but also left me scratching my head at times. I have some idea what Chanel accomplished. I can rattle off things, like throwing off the shackles of the 19th Century style, sports clothing and perfume, but I need more details and context. If I was a student of fashion, I don’t think this book would suffice. A student of business and entrepreneurship will not really learn much about how Coco Chanel built her empire, though it was interesting to see that her early years, given the times, relied on the largess of upperclass men and that success due to World War 1 gave her her independence. There are some other events I’m curious about, like the strikes of the late 1930s and Coco Chanel’s actions during World War 11. Her Nazi lover cost her.
It’s fascinating, though, that a woman, a fashion designer, who was 18 in 1900, was at the top of her game and success during the 1960s. I'll have to find out more elsewhere.
Read information about the authorNovember 1966, Edmonde Charles-Roux receives the Prix Goncourt for her novel « Oublier Palerme » - 1966 Grasset (« To Forget Palermo » – Delacourt Press, 1968). This prestigious prize brings to the limelight a writer who before had been relatively unknown. Daughter of a French Ambassador, she could have lived out her life as part of the upper-class bourgeoisie, but she chose to follow a far more perilous yet exalted path. During the war, she volunteered as a nurse on the front in 1940 and then joined the Resistance and participated in the liberation of France. After the war, she joined the staff at Elle Magazine as a journalist and later became the editor-in-chief of Vogue, democratizing fashion and promoting feminist causes. She is subsequently fired for daring to put a black model on the cover. Edmonde Charles-Roux was a crusader, in her literary works as well as in her personal life. She has fought for women’s rights and become involved in politics, through her photo stories of politicians, artists and people influencing culture, who owe much of their fame to her recognition of their talent.
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