The Allure of Chanel

The Allure of Chanel

by | Paul Morand

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend a weekend with Coco Chanel? Just the two of you engaged in an extended conversation, which is really her recounting some of her most memorable times of her youth and later life?

There have been many words and hours devoted to the life of Coco Chanel, a few movies, and even a few television movies and specials, but none is as intimate as this story of her life through 1938 or so. The beauty of this book is that these are her words, her version of her life as told to one of her dear friends and also the author of this particular book. The book has been translated and redacted from original conversations between Mademoiselle Chanel and Mr. Durand. The entire manuscript was discovered upon Mr. Durand’s death in 1975.

Not only does this format engage you, but its words also cause you to laugh out loud at the very words that she uttered to describe herself, her acumen as a designer, her business, her lovers, and her philosophy of life. She was an original in so many ways and so very modern—yet so very provincial in many of her beliefs. “I am never satisfied with myself, so why should I be satisfied with others?” or “I judge people according to the what they spend.” or “the only thing I like spending is my strength.” On fashion, “expensive jewelry does not improve the woman who wears it . . . if she is plain she shall… continue  | Jeffrey Felner 

|pictures via Roger-Viollet|