Chanel and Her World Summary & Study Guide

Edmonde Charles-Roux
This Study Guide consists of approximately 37 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Chanel and Her World.
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Chanel and Her World Summary & Study Guide Description

Chanel and Her World Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel is an image of the dream every poor girl has of becoming a princess and living among all things beautiful. But even for all of her attaining wealth and artistic renown, Chanel lived forever pining for a love that would last a lifetime.

She was born to poor parents at the end of the nineteenth century, her mother dying when she was young and her father immediately abandoning her and her sister to an orphanage. She remained there until she went to a convent and then started working for a designer of women's intimate apparel. She dabbled in the theater and eventually met a wealthy man who would make her his mistress in Etienne Balsan.

She existed with several other beautiful but marginalized women in their demimonde, unwelcome in the high society their lovers occupied, but kept active and entertained among themselves and surrounded by horses. Another eventual lover, Boy Capel, shared her desire to work and earn a living, and gave her her own shop which allowed her to begin working as a milliner. Her success was immediate, and eventually she was able to buy her own shop and work emancipated from the men who had financed her.

Following her success with hats, Chanel began making dresses that became sought after by the finest women in Paris and eventually throughout Europe. She was the first designer willing to free women from the corsets and heavy dresses that kept them bound to conventional indoor living. Throughout her career, Chanel was able to live in close enough observation of the wealthy and active to know what their interests and activities were in order to put them in the clothes that most effectively freed them to enjoy sports, the beach, cars, and eventually even to join her in pursuing their own careers and be taken as seriously as men.

Over the course of her life, she was lover to illustrious men of several nationalities and interests but, tragically, the two men she loved the most and came closest to marrying died untimely deaths before they could be wed: Boy Capel in a car accident, and Paul Iribe to a heart attack during a tennis game. The result was that Chanel lived in fierce dedication to her craft, operating in her field flawlessly, and remaining its faithful servant throughout the whole of her life.

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