Coco Chanel

Topics: Hôtel Ritz Paris, World War II, Coco Chanel Pages: 5 (1993 words) Published: October 4, 2009
Coco Chanel
Coco Chanel was one of the most prominent fashion designers of the 20th century. Her contribution in the development of fashion can hardly be underestimated. In fact, she revolutionized fashion in a way, since she was one of the first fashion designers who made women think of themselves first rather than think how they look for their men, which was a traditional view on female fashion at the epoch. In actuality, the significance and her great contribution in the development of fashion as well as 20th century culture at large was marked by her contemporaries as well as modern specialists. For instance, she was the only person in the field of fashion design to be named on TME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century (Charles-Roux, 145). In such a way, she gained a public approval and popularity which made her name one of the most recognizable in the fashion world. At the same time, her life was quite difficult, especially during her early years and war time periods. In fact, she witnessed two world wars but she kept working regardless of all the problems and challenges she faced in her life. In fact, her work was her true passion she remained devoted to from her early life until the end. Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel was born on August 19, 1883. She was a second daughter of travelling salesman Albert Chanel and Jeanne Devolle in a small city of Saumur, France (Orecklin, 49). In fact, her family was poor and she was raised in poverty stricken neighborhood along with her five siblings. Remarkably, when she got her birth certificate her name misspelled “Chasnel” because nobody knew how to spell Chanel correctly. As a result, the mayor of the city had to improvise and added the letter “S” in her name, which later became a serious problem for her biographers, who could not trace her origin and define genealogical tree because of such an error in her name (Orecklin, 51). However, the misspelling of her name was definitely not the biggest misfortune that happened to her in her early life. She lived in poverty and was practically of an opportunity to get a good education. Moreover, when she was twelve, her mother died of tuberculosis that provoked a serious psychological trauma for the child. At the same time, her father could not stay with the children all the time. He had to work to earn for living and to maintain the family, in which he was the only breadwinner. This is why Coco Chanel was sent to the orphanage of the Catholic monastery of Aubazine, where she spent seven years and where she received her basic education. In fact, it is in the monastery she learned the trade of seamstress. However, she did not spend all the time in the monastery. During the vacations she went to her relatives in a provincial city, where her female relatives taught her to sew with more flourish than the nuns in the monastery were able to demonstrate. In such a way, her interest, her passion to design had started to develop since her childhood as she learned to sew and gradually she became very skilful in this field. At this point, it should be said that she was apparently a gifted person since she managed to develop her skills and abilities to the extent that she became able not only to create traditional wear, but she proved to be able to experiment and find new, original solutions, which were unusual for her time (Dwight, 119). However, at the early started to demonstrate her talent, which though was immature at the epoch. Nevertheless, her professional knowledge, to a significant extent, defined her further life, as her first job was the work at a local tailor, where she was employed at the age of eighteen as she left the orphanage. In fact, it was her first step in her professional career insignificant it seems to be, but still it was very important in regard to her future professional career since she could have hardly find a different work. Moreover, it was the only work where she could realize her full...
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