The Originator of Fashion

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Face Behind the Name:

Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel was the founder of one of the most famous fashion brands, Chanel. "Coco" came from her days as a cabaret performer. Her extraordinary influence on fashion was such that she was the only person in the couturier field to be named on Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century.

Timeless Classic Fragrance:

Chanel No. 5 ($105 - $175 at Sephora) is the first perfume launched by Parisian couturier Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel. Chanel wanted to epitomize the boyish, modern flapper that would speak to the liberated spirit of the 1920s. She gave it a mysterious flair by giving it to the most notable women. Then, Chanel would dutifully claim that she didn't have anymore, which increased the demand for it.

In the picture above, Marilyn Monroe is splashing herself with Chanel No. 5. The image has become famous for the Chanel advertisement, and become one of the most popular Chanel advertisements.

The Story Behind the Logo:

The interlocking C's don't only stand for Coco Chanel, but they were also the initials of her name and her longtime boyfriend's name, Capel. His death in a car accident, in late 1919, was the single most devastating event in Chanel's life.

The Frenemy:

Misia Sert (born Maria Zofia Olga Zenajda Godebska; 30 March 1872 – 1950) was a patron and friend of numerous artists, for whom she regularly posed. While she was friends with Chanel, she didn't care too much for fashion. That wasn't her thing. Her thing was competing against Chanel when it came to lovers. Needless to say, their friendship was very confusing and complicated.

Books Worth Reading:

  • Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life by Lisa Chaney
  • Intimate Chanel by Isabelle Fiemeyer and Gabrielle Palasse-Labrunie
  • Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War by Hal Vaughan
  • Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life by Justine Picardie
  • Chanel and Her World by Edmonde Charles-Roux
  • The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman by Karen Karbo
  • Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style by Jérôme Gautier

Movies Worth Watching:

Coco Before Chanel

Audrey Tautou (Amélie) shines in this intriguing portrait of the early life of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, the orphan who would build a fashion empire and be known universally by her nickname, Coco.

She journeys from a mundane seamstress job to boisterous cabarets to the opulent French countryside, possessing little more than her unwavering determination, unique style and visionary talent.

Coco Chanel

Academy Award winning actress Shirley MacLaine stars as Coco Chanel in this critically acclaimed film that charts the rise of one of the most influential designers of the 20th century. From her humble childhood and early days as a young dressmaker's assistant, to her passionate love affair with a dashing Englishman and ultimate success as a pioneering fashion icon, Coco Chanel is the story of a glamorous woman who was hard to love and harder to ignore. Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominated, Coco Chanel is a must-see film for every lover of fashion and romance.

Unknown said...

Absolutely love Marilyn Monroe and all these old school glamorous looks!!
I found your blog on our blog hop post :) Thanks for joining!!


That Bald Chick said...

Love the quote from Coco! How true.

Donna said...

She was definitely a fashion innovator!

Lisa Noel said...

love that shot of Marilyn

Susie said...

Hi! I'm a new follower from the Halloween Boo Hop! :-)
Please feel free to stop by my blog and follow at

Great post! :-)

Ms D said...

Definitely true!!!

Marcie W. said...

I watched the Lifetime movie of her life and it was remarkable. That Marilyn Monroe photo made my heart skip a beat.

Liz Mays said...

Chanel just oozes class. I just wish it cost a little less to own it.

Sheila Rae said...

Love all your pics.

DebrasDollars said...

I love the pictures. Thanks for sharing them. I am stopping from the Love U blog hop. I am your newest GFC follower. If you get a chance please stop by.

Unknown said...

Just stopping by to say thanks for joining our little blog hop group. Hopefully before long we will grow and have more blogging buddies to visit. I really appreciate your coming over and signing up and I am following. Stop by in the next 2 weeks as I will be having more giveaways and I hope you have a great week!


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