There is this eternal virtual rivalry between Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld.
When the Kaiser seems to reign over the fashion world,
Coco makes her come back on the first step of the podium.
Yes Lagerfeld maybe all over the place but so is Coco, noticeably with a new biography , “Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life” by British writer Justine Picardie.
Personally, I still think that L’irregulière by Edmonde Charles Roux remains the best. But, in the end how many books can you read on one fashion designer even if she/he is a genius !?. In the past year or two, there has also been a Lifetime television special starring Shirley Mac Laine and two films. I do have a tender spot for Coco before Chanel by Anne Fontaine starring Audrey Tautou. Many disliked the movie finding it too shallow. This is precisely why I liked it. I thought the tempo was right, a light tune mademoiselle Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel might have whispered between her teeth with her lips party closed holding on to that pin. In the movie, we have a nice insight on her tastes, her sources of inspiration for the glamorous days to some.
Well again, how many films can one see on Chanel?
Be prepared! According to Justine Picardie quoted in Women’s Wear Daily “You could make a dozen movies about Chanel and still not have covered her entire story”. God forbid!
Selected bibliography on Mademoiselle in French
- Edmonde Charles-Roux, L’Irrégulière ou mon itinéraire Chanel, Grasset, 1974
- Paul Morand, L’Allure de Chanel, Hermann, 1976
- Edmonde Charles-Roux, Le temps Chanel, Éditions du Chêne, 1979
- Lilou Marquand, Chanel m’a dit…, JCLattés, 1990
- Isabelle Fiemeyer, Coco Chanel, un parfum de mystère, Éditions Payot & Rivages, 1999
- Louise de Vilmorin, Mémoires de Coco, Editions Gallimard, 1999
- Henry Gidel (textes), Coco Chanel. – Paris : J’ai lu, 2000
- Claude Delay, Chanel solitaire, Gallimard, 1983 : J’ai Lu, 2001
- Brigitte Labbé et Michel Puech (textes), Jean-Pierre Joblin (illustrations), Coco Chanel. – Toulouse : Milan jeunesse, coll. « De vie en vie » n° 17, 2005
- Cyril Eder, Les comtesses de la Gestapo. Grasset, Paris 2007
- Marcel Haedrich, Coco Chanel, Coco par Chanel, Gutenberg, 2008 (ISBN 2352360404)
Also to see Karl Lagerfeld’s own movie on Chanel http://chanel-news.chanel.com/fr/