Saturday 22 February 2014

Book Review: Vogue on Coco Chanel by Bronwyn Cosgrave!

 Coco Chanel is holding one of the iconic enamelled cuff bracelets decorated with 
coloured stones that Fulco di Verdura created for her.

Coco Chanel's love for jewels... 
Coco Chanel was often seen wearing a lot of her beloved luxurious jewellery even at the beach, 
rumour has it that the value of her jewels was so astronomical that she couldn't insure it.
To avoid the risk of it being stolen she preferred to have it on.

 "Every day a stylist from Guillaume, the top Paris salon, tended  Chanel's hair 
and helped affix the straw boater that she always wore as a self-defence mechanism, 
reasoning that if someone boring paid her a visit, she could always motion to her hat and explain: 
'I was just going out.'" [from Vogue on Coco Chanel]

Available on

Hey Beauty Lovers! I have featured this book last week as a V-Day gift idea. Any fashion book that lands on my coffee table serves a pure purpose of indulging beauty. Vogue on Coco Chanel by Bronwyn Cosgrave isn't just about bespoke craftsmanship, beautiful photography and rarely-seen fashion illustration, it's also a fantastic read! I devoured this book in one sitting, so I decided I shall write a review to share the love.

In this book besides the legendary photography by Cecil Beaton, David Bailey and Irving Penn [my all-time favourite black and white photographer], there is also a vast load of information compactly compressed into the pages. Bronwyn Cosgrave [former features editor of British Vogue] reveals the true and inspiring character of the super petite yet immensely strong-willed and talented fashion legend Coco Chanel.

Astonishingly, it took about 150 hours of manual labour to create the classic strictly haute couture Chanel suit before ready-to-wear models were introduced in 1978. Her collections were always inspired by the people in her life and their lifestyles. As was the timeless tweed Chanel jacked that was originally inspired by the English tweed jacket her lover Bendor, Duke of Westminster wore when hunting. Coco Chanel's renowned love for jewellery was born when her previous lover Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich showered her with precious jewels, including some of those from his only possession at that time, which were the Romanov jewels. 

Pavlovich also introduced Coco Chanel to Ernest Beaux, the perfumer who created her signature scent N'5. Interestingly enough to create the iconic Chanel N'5 fragrance Coco Chanel originally invested £40,000 [today's equivalent of US $1,000,000] that were left to her in Boy Capel's will, allegedly her one and only true love. Even a lipstick shade has been named after Boy in the memory of their love. On Sunday 10 January 1971, Gabrielle Coco Chanel passed away at the age of 87 at The Ritz where she lived out of convenience. "Her final words to her assistants Lilou and Francois were prescient: 'No nonsense after I'm dead, because I'll still be there beside you in another dimension." Almost half a century later her legacy lives on...

"Fashion has two purposes: comfort and love. Beauty comes when fashion succeeds." 
Coco Chanel


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