Mademoiselle Chanel by CW Gortner
Publisher: HarperCollins, March 15th 2015
Gortner’s historical biography of Coco Chanel spans her entire life, from her poverty-stricken youth to her return to Paris’ fashion empire. We see how she developed and grew her fashion empire, her struggles in balancing her life between two worlds. One of her past and one of the rich and famous who she adorns with her outfits.
Gortner’s novel is well-researched and his admiration for Chanel is quite evident in the text. At times, it felt as if she could do no wrong. Even when she did mess up, it was easily excused or explained. Despite that, I think the book paints an accurate portrayal of her life in France. Chanel is a hard-working person who is not easy to get along with. Starting off making hats in her lover’s house, she eventually moved into a little shop in Paris and survived two world wars, her fashions leaking throughout Europe and eventually overseas into America. Although it took nearly her entire lifetime to be appreciated in her home country, Chanel is now one of the craved-after fashion labels.
For a fun night, I’d say read the book, then watch the Audrey Tautou film “Coco Before Chanel” with some wine and cheese.
© 2015 by Nari of The Novel World. All rights reserved. You can also follow me on Twitter @TheNovelWorld