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Coco Chanel

The life of Coco Chanel

Gilly Caplan

on 20 May 2011

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Transcript of Coco Chanel

GABRIELLE (COCO) CHANEL "A woman who doesn't
wear perfume has no future." Her designs were simple, but stylish and oftentimes influenced by men's clothing. In the 1920s, Coco furthered the brand by creating a perfume: Chanel º5 Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel was born in Saumur, France on August 19, 1883. Her mother was the daughter of a peasent and her father was a peddler. She had one older sister, Julie. Her parents didn't marry until after Coco and her sister were born. When Coco was twelve, her mother died. Soon after, her father left her at an orphanage. There she would learn to sew. A skill that would shape her adult life. When Coco left the orphanage she tried her hand at shopkeeping and then at singing and dancing. The audiences would begin to call her Coco because of songs she sang: Qui qu'a vu Coco and Ko Ko Ri Ko. The nickname stuck, even if her aspirations to became a singer and dancer didn't. Upon turning twenty, Coco met Etienne Balsam (a well off horse breeder). Coco became Etienne's mistress and went to live with him in his luxerious castle. Although she was living in the lap of luxery, Coco began to wonder what she was doing with her life. She decided her goal was to become a milliner. Through Etienne, Coco would meet Arthur "Boy" Capal. Coco struck up a relationship with Boy, who gave her the support she needed to open her first Milliner shop in 1910 and three years later a boutique in Paris. " [perfume] Is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion. . . . that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure." - Coco Chanel Coco incorperated men's clothing styles into women's by creating fitted, yet comfortable suits. She brought ease into fashion during a time of corsets and discomfort. She also showed the world how fashionable it could be to wear black in the evening. Thus came the little black dress. Coco was respected in the art world
as well as the fashion world. She would
design balet dresses for the balets, was good friends
with famous artists such as Pablo Picasso and
and even had a relationship with composer Igor
Stravinsky. The 1920s was also an important time for Coco in her relationships. It was when she met the Duke of Westminster and began a relationship with him that would last for decades. She came extremely close to marrying him. The depression and World War Two had a huge imapact on Chanel. Coco closed down the business and fell into a relationship with a militry officer who was German. Because of her connections with him she was able to stay in her home. After the war she had to be questioned because she was in such a close relationship with a Nazi. The public's opinion of her changed, they felt she had let down her country. Then Coco left Paris to live in Switzerland and Roquebrune. She didn't make her comeback in the fashion world until the 60s and at first the public was critical of her taste and style. However, it didn't take long for her to win them over once again wtih her impecable designs. Near the end of the 60s, Katherine Hepburn played Coco Chanel in a broadyway play about her life. Coco passed away on January, 10, 1971. She never married, but hundreds who had loved and respected her, had banded together in their black Chanel suits to mourn the loss of such a special, iconic woman. Chanel is still thriving today, under the supervision of Karl Lagerfield,
producing hundreds
of millions of dollars in profit each year. THE LIFE OF COCO CHANEL Sources:







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