CHANEL: The Enigma by Flammarion

Coco Chanel remains a mystery.  Her life and career are a source of enduring fascination perpetuated by the late Karl Lagerfeld who understood the power of myths.

Chanel expert Isabelle Fiemeyer (she is a fashion historian who has written eminent books on Chanel, including Intimate Chanel (Flammarion, 2011)) unveils the mysteries that have surrounded the private and public image of Coco. The book compiles testimonies by Chanel’s intimate friends and relatives, artists, poets, photographers, actors, scholars, and those who worked with her.

Published by Flammarion and difficult to find these days, the book remains one of the most significant on the most famous French designer.

The author describes Chanel’s carefully crafted persona and then gradually examines the intrigue that surrounded her personal life. It brilliantly uncovers the personality of the woman behind the enigma.

Her life was marked by suffering that stemmed from an absent father, break ups, a struggle to build her empire, but also positive moments such as collaborations with the world’s greatest artists (including Picasso and Cocteau), and her permanently hypnotic, albeit staged, presence.

This gorgeous book features rare photographs, archival materials, excerpts from journals, iconic images and documents from the troubled wartime period (are the myths real; was she really in love with a German officer and a secret spy?).

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