Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the pulse of history

Book Cover
Average Rating
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Varies, see individual formats and editions
Pub. Date:
Varies, see individual formats and editions
NATIONAL BESTSELLER Certain lives are at once so exceptional, and yet so in step with their historical moments, that they illuminate cultural forces far beyond the scope of a single person. Such is the case with Coco Chanel, whose life offers one of the most fascinating tales of the twentieth century--throwing into dramatic relief an era of war, fashion, ardent nationalism, and earth-shaking change--here brilliantly treated, for the first time, with wide-ranging and incisive historical scrutiny. Coco Chanel transformed forever the way women dressed. Her influence remains so pervasive that to this day we can see her afterimage a dozen times while just walking down a single street: in all the little black dresses, flat shoes, costume jewelry, cardigan sweaters, and tortoiseshell eyeglasses on women of every age and background. A bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume is sold every three seconds. Arguably, no other individual has had a deeper impact on the visual aesthetic of the world. But how did a poor orphan become a global icon of both luxury and everyday style? How did she develop such vast, undying influence? And what does our ongoing love of all things Chanel tell us about ourselves? These are the mysteries that Rhonda K. Garelick unravels in Mademoiselle . Raised in rural poverty and orphaned early, the young Chanel supported herself as best she could. Then, as an uneducated nineteen-year-old café singer, she attracted the attention of a wealthy and powerful admirer and parlayed his support into her own hat design business. For the rest of Chanel's life, the professional, personal, and political were interwoven; her lovers included diplomat Boy Capel; composer Igor Stravinsky; Romanov heir Grand Duke Dmitri; Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster; poet Pierre Reverdy; a Nazi officer; and several women as well. For all that, she was profoundly alone, her romantic life relentlessly plagued by abandonment and tragedy. Chanel's ambitions and accomplishments were unparalleled. Her hat shop evolved into a clothing empire. She became a noted theatrical and film costume designer, collaborating with the likes of Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, and Luchino Visconti. The genius of Coco Chanel, Garelick shows, lay in the way she absorbed the zeitgeist, reflecting it back to the world in her designs and in what Garelick calls "wearable personality"--the irresistible and contagious style infused with both world history and Chanel's nearly unbelievable life saga. By age forty, Chanel had become a multimillionaire and a household name, and her Chanel Corporation is still the highest-earning privately owned luxury goods manufacturer in the world. In Mademoiselle, Garelick delivers the most probing, well-researched, and insightful biography to date on this seemingly familiar but endlessly surprising figure--a work that is truly both a heady intellectual study and a literary page-turner. Praise for Mademoiselle "A detailed, wry and nuanced portrait of a complicated woman that leaves the reader in a state of utterly satisfying confusion--blissfully mesmerized and confounded by the reality of the human spirit." -- The Washington Post "Writing an exhaustive biography of Chanel is a challenge comparable to racing a four-horse chariot. . . . This makes the assured confidence with which Garelick tells her story all the more remarkable." -- The New York Review of Books "Broadly focused and beautifully written." -- The Wall Street Journal
Also in This Series
More Like This
More Details
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 1a8b727f-ffd2-7f0d-86e1-a54242b8a3b0
Grouping Title mademoiselle coco chanel and the pulse of history
Grouping Author garelick rhonda k
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-02-16 23:36:02PM
Last Indexed 2019-02-17 00:37:33AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Garelick, Rhonda K., 1962-
author_display Garelick, Rhonda K
available_at_catalog Bellevue, Bellevue Kids, Main Kids, Main Library
collection_catalog Biography
detailed_location_catalog Bellevue - Adult Biography, Main Library - Adult Biography
display_description "Little black dresses. Fake pearls. Jersey knit. Blazers. Ballet flats. Today--and for nearly the last hundred years--we all see some version of Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel every time we pass a woman on the street. But few among us realize that Chanel's role in the events of the twentieth century was as pervasive as her influence on fashion, or how deeply she absorbed and then brilliantly reimagined the historical currents around her. Here, with unprecedented detail and ambition--and through fascinating, thoroughly researched portraits of Chanel's lovers and friends--Rhonda Garelick shows us the Chanel who conquered the world . . . a woman who thirsted to create others in her image, who ruthlessly and innovatively borrowed from her famous (and infamous) intimates, who understood the idea of branding and image well ahead of her time, who created "wearable personality." This is Chanel at the nexus of history: a woman of daring, passion, and legendary vision, in a wonderful biography that gives her long-awaited due"--
format_catalog Book, eBook
format_category_catalog Books, eBook
id 1a8b727f-ffd2-7f0d-86e1-a54242b8a3b0
isbn 9780679604266, 9781400069521
item_details ils:CARL0000443058|35192046460568|Bellevue - Adult Biography|B C45623g|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf||BL||, ils:CARL0000443058|35192046460584|Main Library - Adult Biography|B C45623g|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf||MN||, overdrive:db1356d3-dca7-4b14-8120-9c2dc7c2dd40|-1|Online OverDrive Collection|Online OverDrive|eBook|eBook|1|false|true|OverDrive|||Adobe EPUB eBook,Kindle Book,OverDrive Read|Available Online||||
itype_catalog , Book
last_indexed 2019-02-17T06:37:33.142Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog B C45623g
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Bellevue, Bellevue Kids, Main Kids, Main Library
primary_isbn 9781400069521
publishDate 2014
record_details ils:CARL0000443058|Book|Books|First edition.|English|Random House,|[2014]|xxii, 576 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm., overdrive:db1356d3-dca7-4b14-8120-9c2dc7c2dd40|eBook|eBook||English|Random House Publishing Group|2014|
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
overdrive:db1356d3-dca7-4b14-8120-9c2dc7c2dd40 -1 Available Online Available Online false true true false false false
ils:CARL0000443058 35192046460584 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
ils:CARL0000443058 35192046460568 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
subject_facet Chanel, Coco, -- 1883-1971, Fashion design -- History -- 20th century, Fashion designers -- France -- Biography
title_display Mademoiselle : Coco Chanel and the pulse of history
title_full Mademoiselle : Coco Chanel and the pulse of history / Rhonda K. Garelick, Mademoiselle Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History
title_short Mademoiselle :
title_sub Coco Chanel and the pulse of history
topic_facet Art, Biography & Autobiography, Chanel, Coco, Fashion design, Fashion designers, History, Nonfiction