The Gospel According to Coco Chanel

Book: The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman by Karen Karbo

"With practical life lessons for women of all ages"

Synopsis:  Chanel is credited not simply with giving us the little black dress and boxy jackets, but popularizing pants for women and easy, practical clothes that allowed women a chic freedom they'd never known before. The story of the designer's extraordinary life and rise to unprecedented success is both compelling and admirable. And while the great Coco may have launched her singular empire a hundred years ago, her methods, attitude, and elan are as relevant and modern as ever, and perhaps more appealing. Chanel was a self-made girl who knew how to make do with less until she had more, discover and stay true to her own style, problem-solve using the tools at hand, and do it all with seemingly effortless flair.. [via Amazon]

Book Notes: For years all her perfume ads were all over airports, I toted her 2.55 quilt bag and even had some of her trademark Chanel costume jewellery. I follow their runway, I visit their boutiques abroad and their logo was even my bb wallpaper for the longest time. But then I realized I knew nothing about this infamous fashion icon. So I went through a week long Chanel high spending my idle hours watching all the Coco movies and reading the Gospel According to Coco.

Truth be told, Gabrielle Chanel or Coco was a bitch. She was a head-strong, unapologetic, temperamental, self-made genius. She revolutionized fashion and captured the perfume market. Karbo documented her fabulously elegant life of Chanel exploring her philosophies from style and fashion, to money and success and living without giving a damn. It was witty, entertaining and charmingly humorous. I even quite enjoyed the personal anecdotes of the author, most specially her search for the perfect vintage Chanel-Chanel jacket.

Without doubt, this is the perfect book on life's lesson for a modern woman based on the life of fashion's most elegant lady—Coco Chanel.

Quotable Quotes:

"If nothing else, the woman was a complete stranger to the embarrassing impulse buy, and for that alone we should salute her."

"What has grown up in the place of verifiable facts is Chanelore, a combination of truth, embellishment, lies and legend."

"To embody the Chanel style, it is not necessarily necessary to wear Chanel."

"Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn."

"To know who were are is a challenge for most of us. As dutiful consumers of media we are dogged by the feeling that we should exist in a state of eternal self-transformation. To plant our flag in the ground—right here, and right now—and say "This is me!" seems to us to be settling for less or giving up, or not being all that we can be."

"Self invention is an act of the imagination, the ongoing writing of an enormous never-ending novel in which you are the protagonist. It's not a makeover, a new hair color, a new wardrobe, or even a week long wellness vacation in the desert. It requires a rugged determination and sometimes unflattering desperation."

"Perhaps what they mean to say is that being stylish is worth the cost, that the money shouldn't concern you. Otherwise they're just feeding us all a line of bull. An Herm├ęs crocodile Kelly bag and a black Chanel evening dress of embroidered lace are beautiful objects perfectly made from high-quality materials. Cheap knock-offs are just that. They pucker, pinch, rise up, droop and itch, then disintegrate in the machine the second time you wash them. Style has always been about money, and it always will be."

"The shop is no larger than an American elevator. (A French elevator holds one supermodel and her roller suitcase.)"

"Like tiny dogs and British queens, Chanel was poised to live forever."

"In the beginning was Coco and Coco was fashion and Coco said to the multitude, fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening." 


Jinny McCormick said...

She was a Nazi spy, had dozens of affairs with married men, hated homosexuals, and laughed at it all. She also grew up incredibly poor and her rise to fame had more to do with the sex she was having than the clothes she was making. The world was taken for fools. She dressed the rich in cloth made for men's underwear and then talked about quality. She practically wrote The Emperor's New Clothes.

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