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The Life of Coco Chanel

What better day to look back on the fashion legend Coco Chanel’s life, than on her birthday. Today on August 19th, the French designer has passed away in 1971, long before I was even born. But somehow I’m obsessed with her life, designs and how she built an empire that is still going to this day, 47 years after her passing. If you don’t believe me, just ask my husband about all my Coco related books. She rewrote the fashion rule book and thanks to her, we don’t wear corsets and heavy dresses anymore and get to wear pants.

To celebrate Coco Chanel’s life, we look back at some of her very old but still stylish photos and I share some cool facts.

 

Coco Chanel with sculpture (1939). Photograph by George Hoyningen-Huene (American/Russian, 1900–1968).

Coco Chanel with sculpture (1939). Photograph by George Hoyningen-Huene.

Coco Chanel 1937

Coco Chanel hard at work. (1937)

1910 Chanel pictured playing golf in a rare early photograph. 1910

A rare early photo of Chanel playing Golf. (1910)

1925 Chanel at Chester Races with Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster. Their romantic liaison lasted over a decade.

Chanel at Chester Races with Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster. Their romantic affair lasted over a decade. (1925)

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel and Boy Capel in front of Chanel's Deauville Boutique

Gabrielle Coco Chanel, Boy Capel and others in front of Chanel’s Deauville Boutique.

1928 Chanel boar hunting with Winston Churchill and his son Randolph in the forests near Dieppe, France.

Chanel out hunting with Winston Churchill and his son Randolph in the forests near Dieppe, France. (1928)
Gabríélle 'Coco' Chanel and the love of her life, Captain Arthur Edward 'Boy' Capel, in Sâínt-Jéan-dé-Lûz, Apríl 1917
Coco Chanel and the love of her life, Captain Arthur Edward ‘Boy’ Capel. (1917)
1950 Chanel reclines in her studio surrounded by paperwork.
Chanel in her studio surrounded by paperwork. (1950)

 

Some very cool facts about Gabrielle Coco Chanel

♥ She wore her scissors around her neck attached to her pearls.

♥ Chanel No. 5 is the best selling perfume of all time. It was the first perfume to secure ad time during the Super Bowl, and Andy Warhol even created an art piece for the famous perfume.

Andy warhol Chanel No. 5 art work

♥ Coco invented the suit for women.

♥ Chanel became the first brand ever to have a waiting list for nail polish.  A makeup artist backstage at the Chanel show in Paris realized the models’ fingernails were all bare. She quickly coloured them with black marker, then later asked that the resulting shade is replicated with an actual varnish. Chanel’s Rouge Noir colour became the first nail polish to ever sell out and have a waiting list.

♥ Coco invented the Little Black Dress. Or better known as the LBD.

♥ Chanel started out by selling handmade hats.

♥ The designer’s real name is Gabrielle, but she took the nickname Coco when she was working as a singer, long before she became famous. Where does it come from? She used to sing a song about a girl who had a dog named Coco.

♥ During World War II, she closed her boutique in Paris and offered to work as a volunteer nurse. There were rumours of a supposed romance with a Nazi soldier, so she moved away to Switzerland. In 1954 she returned to Paris with new and refreshing design ideas.

♥ She lied about her age. And never really told anyone how old she really was.

♥  Coco Chanel lived in the Hotel Ritz of Paris for more than 30 years, and this is where she died in 1971. The hotel still keeps the 188-sq-meter suite that bears her name, with many of her original decorations and personal items. But any fashionista, like me who would like to sleep in that room will have to pay more than 25,000 euros per night. One day when I’m a millionaire, this is one of the first places I’ll go to.

Coco Chanel Illustration by Megan Hess

How stunning is this illustration by Megan Hess?

Happy Birthday, Coco!!

If you love Coco just as much as I do, you can go view my Pinterest board for more Coco Chanel photos.