Start reading Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.
This title is not currently available for purchase
Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 

Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life [Kindle Edition]

Justine Picardie
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

Pricing information not available.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $13.80  
Hardcover $26.49  
Paperback $14.53  
Audio, CD --  
Unknown Binding --  
Kindle Daily Deals
Kindle Delivers: Daily Deals
Subscribe to find out about each day's Kindle Daily Deals for adults and young readers. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

Justine Picardie has spent the last decade puzzling over the truth about Coco Chanel, attempting to peel away the accretions of romance and lies. In this critically acclaimed, bestselling biography she shares the history of the incredible woman who created the way we look now.

Coco Chanel was an extraordinary inventor - she conjured up the little black dress, bobbed hair, trousers for women, contemporary chic, best-selling perfumes, and the most successful fashion brand of all time - but she also invented herself, fashioning the myth of her own life with the same dexterity as her couture.

While Chanel was supreme innovator and vendor of all things elegant and beautiful, what lies beneath her own glossy myth is far darker. Throwing new light on her passionate and turbulent relationships, this beautifully constructed portrait gives a fresh and penetrating look at how Coco Chanel made herself into her own most powerful creation.

Justine Picardie brings the mysterious Gabrielle Chanel out of hiding, to celebrate her great achievements. She examines Chanel's enduring afterlife, as well as her remarkable life, uncovering the consequences of what she covered up, unpicking the seams between truth and legend, yet keeping intact the real fabric of her past.



Editorial Reviews

Review

'Gripping... In the deftest prose, Picardie plots one of the most extraordinary lives of the 20th Century. The book is lavishly illustrated, too, with images of iconic outfits and intimate photos from Chanel's private albums.' Mail on Sunday 'Fascinating. Chanel was a tragic figure of almost Shakespearean aspect - hugely successful, fiercely strong-willed, yet fatally flawed and eventually filled with regret.' Sunday Times 'The French fashion icon finds a shrewd and sympathetic interpreter in Justine Picardie... this handsome volume cleverly blends the life and afterlife of the enigma who became a brand.' The Independent 'Justine Picardie's vividly told account of Coco Chanel's life has all the elements of a novel: the mystery, the sense of loss, the quest for fame and fortune, the distinguished lovers... in the style of Chanel herself.' Daily Mail '[An] elegant book...The Chanel uncovered by Picardie is a storyteller [who] spun her own myth... Coco has, in these pages, come out of hiding.' The Telegraph 'A detailed and captivating read' Red Magazine 'A brilliant biography' Grazia 'Picardie sheds new light on the intensely private designer... Impressive' Stylist Magazine 'The darker facets [of Chanel] are subtly and carefully revealed by Justine Picardie.' Wall Street Journal 'Justine Picardie sheds new light on the darker truths behind the glossy myth... Guaranteed to be the most well-read accessory at London Fashion Week.' Daily Express 'Justine Picardie's thoughtful and beautifully illustrated Life ... illuminates the iconoclast who might justifiably be said to have invented the twentieth-century woman.' Times Literary Supplement

Review

'Gripping! In the deftest prose, Picardie plots one of the most extraordinary lives of the 20th Century. The book is lavishly illustrated, too, with images of iconic outfits and intimate photos from Chanel's private albums.' Mail on Sunday 'Fascinating. Chanel was a tragic figure of almost Shakespearean aspect -- hugely successful, fiercely strong-willed, yet fatally flawed and eventually filled with regret.' Sunday Times 'The French fashion icon finds a shrewd and sympathetic interpreter in Justine Picardie! this handsome volume cleverly blends the life and afterlife of the enigma who became a brand.' The Independent 'Justine Picardie's vividly told account of Coco Chanel's life has all the elements of a novel: the mystery, the sense of loss, the quest for fame and fortune, the distinguished lovers! in the style of Chanel herself.' Daily Mail '[An] elegant book!The Chanel uncovered by Picardie is a storyteller [who] spun her own myth! Coco has, in these pages, come out of hiding.' The Telegraph 'A detailed and captivating read' Red Magazine 'A brilliant biography' Grazia 'Picardie sheds new light on the intensely private designer! Impressive' Stylist Magazine 'The darker facets [of Chanel] are subtly and carefully revealed by Justine Picardie.' Wall Street Journal 'Justine Picardie sheds new light on the darker truths behind the glossy myth! Guaranteed to be the most well-read accessory at London Fashion Week.' Daily Express 'Justine Picardie's thoughtful and beautifully illustrated Life ! illuminates the iconoclast who might justifiably be said to have invented the twentieth-century woman.' Times Literary Supplement

Product Details

  • File Size: 3436 KB
  • Print Length: 343 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (September 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003XVYZ72
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #429,557 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed March 14, 2011
Format:Hardcover
I appreciated the photos and Chanel's quotes in this book. If there had been neither, I would have become extremely bored. Nothing grabbed me. The majority of the book is based off of information Chanel told Claude Delay. If I wanted to know about her conversations with Claude Delay then I would have read "Chanel Solitaire" by Claude Delay. Chanel's life was so mysterious and guarded it is nearly impossible to derive facts or truth. She hid the truth and was not an open book. so at the end of the book, I knew almost less about her than when I began reading the book. But one fact you can never take away is that she was one fierce woman: business and fashion wise.
Was this review helpful to you?
42 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Couture From an Independent Woman November 21, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Coco Chanel concentrated on simplicity and practicality in the clothes she fashioned. She fashioned her own life, however, to be complicated, and she further complicated things by changing her stories (or perhaps her memories) of her past. Fashion columnist and novelist Justine Picardie has attempted to sort out Chanel's life in a satisfying biography, _Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life_ (It Books). Chanel displayed an unusual resilience, overcoming poverty and lack of parental guidance to revolutionize women's fashions, and perfume, and then retiring and starting up again as successfully as before. Picardie says that "... so much of Chanel remains enigmatic - the more you run after her, the more elusive her ghost becomes," and it is easy to see that with Chanel busy making her mark in fashion and making herself into a legend, keeping track of what's real and what's not is often impossible. Nonetheless, even if there are gaps we cannot completely close, Picardie's portrait with all of Chanel's contradictions nicely brings to life this unique artist, bon vivant, and brilliant businesswoman.

Chanel was born in 1883, though of course she did not give this date in her own accounting of her origins. She was placed into a convent, and the austerity of convent life found its way into her clothing designs. She worked afterwards as a seamstress but also as a cabaret singer. Somehow she encountered a roué who set her up as a mistress, along with other lovers, and during these years she learned skills in observation and in such essentials as horse riding. Her lovers set her up in her own Paris hat shop in 1909, and there were soon more than hats.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Book January 11, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There are a ton of books out there on CoCo Chanel, this one stays clear of weaving in their personal opinions and tells the great story of her life, unbiasly and with great detail. The pictures are wonderful, many of which I had never seen. The book itself is also very lovely and looks great on the shelf.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars C'est Formidable! August 22, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ms Picardie's research and writing style is the best biography of Mademoiselle to date! Well balanced and brings to play even more of the Mata Hari Couturier's activities during WWII. This is an in depth book. Picardie understands the complexity of Chanel's character and the tenacious and driven capability of one woman to succeed. Well written, well researched and the author beautifully unfolds Chanel's life to the reader. Every year we host an annual Coco Chanel Birthday Party to celebrate Mademoiselle's accomplishments that she gave to women. All attendees invited are women of courage. This book was very much a part of the event this year. New secrets about Chanel's WWii life were revealed and further inspiration for feminine courage emboldened the audience with individual confidence. --Laura Ponter, Concierge Jeweler
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `Legend is the consecration of fame.' July 17, 2011
Format:Hardcover
The name Coco Chanel is synonymous with style. But what of the woman behind the name: what do we know about the woman who designed simple yet sophisticated clothes, practical but elegant bags and shoes, and presented Chanel No 5 perfume to the world?

There is little simple about Coco Chanel. She was born Gabrielle Chanel on 19 August 1883 - a date that she later changed by hand in her passport. Gabrielle Chanel was born in a poorhouse; her parents were unmarried and, according to Chanel, her mother Jeanne died of tuberculosis when Chanel was aged six. Justine Picardie suggests that Jeanne died of `poverty, pregnancy and pneumonia' when Chanel was aged 11. According to Chanel, her father left her in the care of two unmarried aunts when he actually placed her in a convent orphanage in the village of Aubazine, where she was raised by nuns.

When World War One began in 1914, Chanel moved from Paris to Deauville, and built up a business. Chanel's personal life was also interesting and unconventional. She had a succession of glamorous lovers but it seems likely that the real love of her life was Arthur `Boy' Capel who died in a car accident in 1919.

I picked up this book knowing very little about Coco Chanel and wanting to read a little more about the woman who had such an influence on style during the 20th century. It's an interesting read, beautifully illustrated and informative without being exhaustive. It intrigued me to read that Coco Chanel's favourite novel was `Wuthering Heights', and that the austerity of the convent was a major influence on her design. By all accounts, Coco Chanel (19 August 1883 - 10 January 1971) lived a remarkable life.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Coco Chanel is Timeless!
Loved all the books on Chanel. Bought many via Amazon and I only buy hardcover books--enjoy reading about a legend, a woman to be admired and emulated as she rose through the ranks... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Patricia
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing but Watchout for unneeded Detours!
Definitely an informative and interesting read particularly for fashion and history enthusiasts. Well-rounded views, well researched and yet could do without some of the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by emmapeel07
4.0 out of 5 stars So Nice I (accidentally) Bought It TWICE!
As a fan of all things Chanel I'm always up for seeing pictures of Mlle Coco's glamour saturated world. Read more
Published 1 month ago by FearlessReader
3.0 out of 5 stars Enigma, brought to life
A vivid presentation of the personality and attitude behind Chanel's work. Inspiring lady richly portrayed in the context of her background and the people who surrounded her... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Miranda
2.0 out of 5 stars DRY!
A very dry story about Chanel. To many facts about the wars and the people. I was hoping for more info about Chanel. Instead, this is like a bad history lesson.
Published 2 months ago by Janice K. Wood
4.0 out of 5 stars This is not a true biography
But the book does give you the story of Coco Chanel in the words she gave to others.

This is not a usual read for me, but I enjoyed this book and found the life of Coco... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Marianne M. Popp
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit "whitewashed" but easier to read than other books about her
I'm doing a research paper about her and found this book a reliable resource. It did not address her lesbianism but that is probably still up for debate.
Published 3 months ago by Pamela J Abadie
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, Controversial Woman
An interesting biography of a fascinating woman. It got a little draggy and convoluted at times, but an overall good read.
Published 3 months ago by June B. Van Winkle
2.0 out of 5 stars Review of Coco Chanel
THe book was ok but not what I was expecting. It was long and drawn out and repetitive. I learned very little about Coco Chanel.
Published 3 months ago by Lamona Pendergraph
3.0 out of 5 stars Facts still unknown
Privatise repeatedly states that the truth regarding Chanel will never be know due to her deliberate attempts to recreate her life and contradictions in existing records. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Marianne Fields
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Justine Picardie is the author of four books, including her critically acclaimed memoir If the Spirit Moves You and her most recent novel, Daphne. The former features director of British Vogue and editor of the Observer magazine, she is currently a fashion columnist for the Sunday Telegraph, and also writes for several other newspapers and magazines, including Harper's Bazaar and the Times of London. She lives in London with her two sons.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?



Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Look for Similar Items by Category