50% Off Today On all Products Get Best Deal

What Coco Chanel Can Teach You About Fashion (Icons with Attitude)

Price: $14.39
(as of Nov 11, 2023 04:23:35 UTC – Details)

If Coco Chanel were to give a masterclass on design, creativity and attitude, what wisdom would she impart? Discover the life, work and legacy of Chanel in this sharply curated biography focusing on artistic spirit.

Chanel’s ethos captured the imagination of post-war women, releasing them from the corseted silhouette and changing what we wore forever. But how did Chanel think? How did her experiences shape her creative career? And how was her no-holds-barred attitude reflected in her work? What Coco Chanel Can Teach You About Fashion breaks down Chanel’s life and work into memorable maxims that epitomise her ground-breaking perspective – including Poverty Can Be Luxury, Rebel Against Your Rivals, Find Your Spirit Animal and Twist Textile Traditions. This book uncovers Chanel’s creative approach, her inspirations, her business acumen and the details that make her designs so timeless.

With pithy, illuminating text and inspirational photographs, learn something from Chanel and apply it to your own life, creativity and style. These are the things that really define what it means to be Chanel. 

Small and beautifully formed – if you like this, What Alexander McQueen Can Teach You About Fashion is also available.


From the Publisher

Kate Moss modelling the Chanel spring 1994 ready-to-wear collection.Kate Moss modelling the Chanel spring 1994 ready-to-wear collection.


Combine the Masculine and the Feminine

When it came to developing her classic style, Coco Chanel was shaped by the wardrobe of the men in her life – a polo sweater borrowed from Arthur ‘Boy’ Capel, a quilted jacket from the stable boys at Royallieu, a tweed sporting jacket from the Duke of Westminster. When she first emerged as a designer in the 1910s, fashions were ultra-feminine. All bosoms and hips, women were synched into an s-shape, with heavy corsetry under extravagant lace gowns and over-embellished hats balancing precariously on their heads. Combining masculine touches with a feminine aesthetic, Chanel turned fashion on its head.

During her days at Étienne Balsan’s Château de Royallieu, Chanel spent her time galloping through the surrounding forests on horseback. Inspired by the jockeys and stable lads, she was the tomboy in jodhpurs, a blouse with tie and a custom-made tweed jacket.

For their regular fancy dress parties, she was known to wear a man’s suit with ease, and this would also shape her love of masculine style in the last days of the Belle Époque era.

The lives of women changed dramatically during the First World War, including in the way they dressed. As they contributed to the war effort by working in factories or driving ambulances, they required looser, less cumbersome clothing. Chanel’s simple, practical designs with masculine touches, originally sold from her boutique in Deauville in Normandy, immediately captured this movement.

Simplicity can be Luxury Embrace the Zeitgeist Keep it Simple with Black Explore Innovations that Endure Find Luxury in White Satin Escape Reality with Romance Make a Statement with Monochrome Refine your Colour Palette

A person wearing the a black dress with a white collar at the Chanel Métiers d'Art fashion show.A person wearing the a black dress with a white collar at the Chanel Métiers d'Art fashion show.


Don’t Forget your Past

The convent at Aubazine Abbey, isolated in the remote chestnut and pine-covered hills of the Auvergne region, is the key to the creative mind of Chanel.

Chanel’s father was a peddler and her early years were spent at cheap lodgings in bustling market towns, filled with the sounds of tradespeople. But after her mother died, when Coco was twelve, she was sent to the abbey with her two sisters. The convent there was quiet and contemplative in comparison to the itinerant life with her parents, and it shaped her love for simplicity, cleanliness and order. Her appreciation of black and white can also be traced back to the monochrome of the Cistercian convent. Black was the colour of the nuns’ habits and the dark recesses of the abbey; white was the colour of the bed sheets and petticoats washed in the laundry; beige, the natural stone of the abbey walls.

The rosary-style necklaces, celestial jewels, and Maltese crosses, which featured on her famous 1937 white enamel cuff bracelet, can also be traced back to this time, where these shapes were formed in a stone mosaic in the corridors, along with crescent moons, five-pointed stars and eight-petal flowers.

The simple pattern in the colourless windows of the abbey, which followed the austere rules of the Cistercian order, even inspired the double C logo.

Embrace your Social Circle Use your Own Image Speak the Language of Revolution Choose Love as an Influence Express your Artistic Temperament Arouse the Trailblazers Harness the Dramatic Look to your Location

A person wearing a fluoro-printed jersey polo dress.A person wearing a fluoro-printed jersey polo dress.


Twist Textile Traditions

Chanel once proclaimed that ‘I built my fortune on an old jersey.’ The first pieces of clothing that Chanel sold from her Deauville boutique were jersey sweaters worn with belts, which were inspired by Boy Capel’s polo shirts. Jersey was traditionally used for men’s underwear and sports clothing, but Chanel found it to be a cost-effective stand-in for scarcer fabrics during the war.

She described how ‘there was a shortage of material. I cut jersey from the sweaters the stable lads wore and from the knitted training garments that I wore myself. By the end of the first summer of the war, I had earned two hundred thousand gold francs.’

Jersey fabric was supple, easy to wear and readily available, and she credited these jerseys as the origin of the House of Chanel.

The fluidity of the fabric meant it could be difficult to cut and manipulate into closefitting garments, but it suited the style that Chanel was forging. ‘Jersey is the hardest fabric to work with, it’s a poor fabric; Lord, do I know it! I started out with it,’ she said.

Choose a Fabric with Durability Find Magic in Numbers Embellish with Embroidery Say it with Stripes See it in the Stars Expose New Parts of the Body Faux Jewellery can be Priceless Don’t Shy from the Glitz

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Frances Lincoln (October 12, 2021)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 144 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0711259097
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0711259096
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 14.7 ounces
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.15 x 0.85 x 7.7 inches

Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart