Friday, June 18, 2010

Mademoiselle Coco

I have the book Mademoiselle Coco Chanel Summer 62 on loan from the library at the moment. It is the coolest book ever. When I saw it on a new releases display at the bookshop I thought... ooh, I've got to order that from the library. Et voila, four months later I am reading it. Don't tell me I can't do delayed gratification. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – I love the library.

This book is all black-and-white photos, where a young American photographer follows Coco around during the creation of her summer 1962 fashion collection.

In the early pages Coco Chanel is photographed walking to work through the streets of Paris, paparazzi style. She looks like she could wear the same clothing today, her hair, makeup, pearls are all classic and modern at the same time. It’s only the people around her that give the time away as 1962.

My Great-Aunt, who nursed Coco Chanel at the American Hospital in Paris in the late 1960s was recently giving me her review of the latest Chanel movie to come out – Coco and Igor. She was not impressed. She said the entire movie was of longing looks and silence. Apparently this wasn’t exactly what Coco was like in real life. ‘She never shut up!’ my Great-Aunt said. ‘Coco Chanel was forever talking, very fast, and always in French’.

Looks like who wrote this movie didn’t do their homework (or preferred to be arty rather than factual). She also told me there was a lot of explicit nudity in the movie, taken from all angles - side, top... I said to her ‘did you look away?’ ‘Oh, I looked alright!’ she replied. Most of the time I forget she is 76.


  1. Ooh, I'm going to see if I can get that book at my library! I cannot believe your relative nursed fantastic to hear those stories. There is a you tube video of Coco and she's just talking nonstop smoke a cigarette and looking chic. After seeing that video I always thought she was a big talker and now I know she was.

  2. Can I borrow your great aunt? She sounds like so much fun. I love hearing these stories about Mlle Chanel. How incredible they are. You should be writing them all down for posterity.

  3. Stephanie, I shall have to hunt out that youtube video. Seeing someone talk and move is so different to photos (or stories, even if from a relative). I asked her if she gained any great wisdom or information from Coco but unfortunately my Great-Aunt was just learning French and couldn't keep up with the speed of Mlle.'s French (she never spoke English).

    LuxeBytes, my Great-Aunt also told me how, when Coco had a bath at the hospital, she insisted on No. 5 being used. My Great-Aunt poured it into a basin and bathed Coco, and then was instructed to pour it down the sink afterwards. How luxe is that?

  4. Hello, I'm glad you stumbled across my blog, because now I've found yours - such beautiful pictures and interesting posts!

  5. Bonjour Ondine. Firstly, I love your name, and secondly, welcome. Nice to have you drop by.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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