Chanel was impulsive, not given to regret or intense self-analysis; discovering this aspect of her helped me immensely to reimagine her. How did the professional and personal intertwine with her? Chanel reached success in the early 20th century, when women were still expected to adhere to a certain way of life. When she was becoming a force in the fashion arena, wealthy women didn’t yet acknowledge those who dressed them.
Chanel did not become an overnight sensation; she started out designing hats, opening a small Paris shop, followed a few years later by her first boutique, and like everyone who goes into business, she needed capital to invest in her product.Mademoiselle Chanel, published by William Morrow this week, has won glowing reviews (“deliciously satisfying”) for its excitement and drama and the fascinating details of Coco Chanel’s rags to riches triumph. The author of six previous historical novels tells Du Jour what drew him to Coco and what he finally decided about her ambitions, desires and fears. It was all very expensive and exuded luxury and prestige.But the novel also goes deeper, thanks to the connection its author, C. It made an impression on me that I haven’t forgotten.The trappings of opulence were undeniably powerful; she’d risen from humble beginnings.Being an internationally renowned celebrity isn’t something she could have turned away from.I worked in fashion during the mid-1980s, before corporate consolidations at the major houses.