Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History
About the Book
A stunning new biography of Coco Chanel --- the high priestess of twentieth-century fashion --- that examines her critical place in history and the ingenious powers by which she internalized and transmitted the most significant cultural trends of her time.
Little black dresses, flat shoes, costume jewelry, cardigan sweaters…for nearly a hundred years and counting a version of Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel has been visible in virtually every woman we pass on the street. Unlike any other designer before or since, Chanel offered what Rhonda K. Garelick insightfully calls "wearable personality": the irresistible and contagious style infused with both world history and Chanel's nearly unbelievable life saga. Here, with scrupulous research and unprecedented theoretical sophistication --- and through fascinating portraits of Chanel's lovers and friends --- Garelick shows us the Chanel who conquered the world…a woman who thirsted to recreate others in her own image, who innovatively borrowed from her famous (and infamous) intimates, and whose genius in business allowed her to grasp the idea of branding well ahead of her time. This is Chanel at the nexus of history: a woman of daring, passion, and legendary vision, in a wonderful biography that gives her her long-awaited due.