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The Allure of Chanel

av Paul Morand

Andra författare: Euan Cameron (Översättare)

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The story of Coco Chanel in her own words, as told by her to Paul Morand

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The Allure of Chanel is based upon conversations Morand had with his friend Chanel in Switzerland in 1946, when neither of the two would, quite rightly, have been welcome in France. Though Allure is apparently narrated by Chanel, and though her own words no doubt lie behind it, Morand's fashioning of those words is the reason for much if not most of its appeal.

Chanel speaks about her life, but this isn't a biography; she talks about fashion generally and her work specifically, but this isn't a book about fashion; she discusses artists and aristocrats of her acquaintance, but in no way is this a social history. Look elsewhere for any of those.

What strikes me about this book is how vividly a personality is portrayed--Chanel is down-to-earth, outrageous, overbearing, oddly passive, and even more mendacious than bitchy--through some very good writing. Someone taken with this might want to look into Morand's other writings; everything I've read by him has been worthwhile.

And anyone thinking about buying Allure should know that there are two editions: The larger one has illustrations by Karl Lagerfeld and some striking photographs that the smaller lacks.
1 rösta bluepiano | Dec 30, 2016 |
Morand first met Coco Chanel in 1921, and in 1946 was invited to visit Chanel in St. Moritz, where he had extensive conversations with her, with a view to help write her memoirs. That project never came off, and the notes were put away and did not surface again until after Chanel's death, and were published finally in 1976.

It's pretty well known by now that Chanel created herself in more ways than one, inventing stories about her childhood and upbringing, but the reality of a young woman who broke loose from that past, lived in the era of Picasso and Sert, and changed the face of fashion in a career that spanned the world wars, can't be anything other than fascinating. No longer were clothes designed only for women whose lives were "worthless and idle"; they were for women who led busy lives and who, therefore, needed to feel comfortable in their clothes. Tossing out corsets and introducing menswear tailoring, Chanel anticipated the needs of women as the 20th-century advanced.

Because these are Chanel's own words and thoughts, this book provides an insight into the thinking of a woman who was not only a great couturier, but a woman whose influence still resonates today. I cannot help but be reminded of the Chanel exhibit I saw at the Metropolitan Museum of Art a few years ago. The exhibit juxtaposed Chanel's work with that of Karl Lagerfeld, who became head of the House of Chanel in the early '80s. The difference was stark. Nearly everything of Coco Chanel's could be worn today without hesitation, so classic are they. The designs of Lagerfeld, on the other hand, could have had the date of design written on them.

The book is not, however, confined to Chanel and the world of fashion. She talks, also, about her private life, her amours, which would be a book in and of themselves.
2 rösta lilithcat | Dec 27, 2009 |
rafraichissant et leger comme une boisson d'ete
l'ecriture francaise, avant guerre, potins,
ton juste, finesse du trait.
phrase courte et precise, mais sans secheresse.
ce qui est difficile à conjuguer.
et puis Coco. ( )
1 rösta basile14 | May 18, 2009 |
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inga recensioner | lägg till en recension

» Lägg till fler författare (2 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Paul Morandprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Cameron, EuanÖversättaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat

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The story of Coco Chanel in her own words, as told by her to Paul Morand

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