Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Today's posting is one of sweet, sweet nostalgia. I know there isn't a girl out there who doesn't coo and get all doe eyed talking about Coco Chanel, but I really do have a soft spot for the tenacious and feisty spirit behind our obsessions with leather quilted shoulder bags and tweed bouclé suits.
I recently tried to rent a biographical movie starring Audrey Tatou called Coco before Chanel and ended up with the wrong version, which I never finished because I'm ADD and I just don't finish anything. I like to blame that quality on my Myers Briggs personality type, INFP. I tell people the acronym stands for "I Never Finish Projects" when they ask (they usually don't).
I did, however, finish a very cheeky and delightful Chanel book titled The Gospel According to Coco Chanel by Karen Karbo that I highly recommend. The book delves into her checkered past, which no one can ever be sure of because she was always coming up with new contradicting stories about her roots (the author refers to these tales as Chanelores).
It's not that she was particularly scandalous, it's just that she was raised in an orphanage where she was abandoned by her father. Being someone who hung out with high society Frenchmen like Pablo Picasso, that was about as defamatory as you could get. It was bad enough she started out as a lowly hat maker (seamstresses had no status back then, and even as a famous designer Chanel's celebrity clients would pretend not to see her as they passed her on the streets).
Aside from all her clever proverbs, which have now become clichés, such as
“A woman is closest to being naked when she is well dressed”
“Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.”
I would say the lessons I have enjoyed most from Ms. Chanel are that perseverance and personal conviction when combined are deadly and unstoppable, and that horse riding never ceases to impress men (seriously).
Straw Hat: Urban Outfitters
Pearls: Gift from Dubai
Dress: Little Moon by Wilfred