Gabriel Coco Chanel (1883-1971) was one of the greatest women of the 20th century. Thanks to her, fashion has experienced a real revolution. Chanel rescued women from extra clothes, reworked the men’s suit. In fact, she created a new fashion, rejecting the old traditions. It is no coincidence that it is considered the national treasure of France.
Chanel released the world’s first artificial perfume, putting perfume in the modern form. The life of this bold and confident woman was not easy. Her independence and willfulness in the male world met misunderstanding.
Today, when you study her biography, you discover that she has invented it in many ways. Chanel talked about the nonexistent family, the facts of the biography, changed the name and date of birth. But does such a woman have no right to be mysterious? The most popular myths about the great Frenchwoman we will consider.
Coco Chanel was born in 1893 in Auvergne.
So she claimed herself. But there is incontrovertible documentary evidence that Chanel came into being 10 years earlier, in Saumur. But what woman does not want to, even with the help of a small lie, lose 10 years?
Coco came from a noble impoverished family.
And this myth was invented by Chanel herself. But her father, Albert, was a market trader, a native of the common people. Gabriella’s mother, Jeanne Devoll, worked as a laundress. The couple was not even married. The parents were so illiterate that the mayor of the city François Poitou registered the girl who was born.
Nicknamed “Coco” for the girl came up with her father.
Chanel claimed that her father called him “coco”, affectionately calling her “chicken”. In fact, her nickname was Gabrielle, thanks to the songs “Ko Ko Ri Ko” and “Qui qu’a vu Coco”, which she performed in her youth in a cabaret. And the regulars greeted the girl he loved with a symbolic cackling.
Koko did not know how to make sketches of dresses and cut.
This myth was invented by envious Chanel. At the beginning of her career, she preferred not to draw models and not sew them. Koko’s clothes were created directly on the mannequins. She threw a cloth on them, cut it with scissors, pinned it with pins, creating a designed silhouette. The approach was really non-standard, but there was a reason for that. Koko was not a professional dressmaker. In those days, without proper documents, it was forbidden to sew dresses.
Chanel rescued women from corsets.
This is a beautiful myth, but it is not true. The first from waist-cuffed corsets fashion designer Paul Poiret refused in 1906. He considered it funny that the female figure is divided into two parts – lifting the front bust and highlighting the backside. I must say that Poire was at odds with Chanel. The success of the male fashion designer was recognized all over the world, and Koko was frankly envious of him. It was Poiret who introduced fashion to thinness, his dresses were opened by female ankles. Chanel was a great plagiarist. She attributed herself to the fashion of pearl necklaces, pockets, a small black dress. But all this existed before her. Simply Chanel, being the daughter of a trader, understood how to provide demand for the goods and make it relevant.
Fashion for a haircut “for a boy”.
It is believed that it was Chanel who opened a short haircut for women. There is a legend that it happened by accident. At Koko, a gas column suddenly caught fire, and the fire scorched her hair. I had to radically change my image. It was unexpected, but successful. Grooming under the boy came into fashion in 1917. But there is another, more natural explanation. At that time, the woman wore a long thick braid, wrapping it around her head. Over time, Chanel realized that her long hair interfered with her hobby – horse riding. She dramatically shortened her hair, and the legend of the fire became part of the PR.
Chanel came up with a small black dress, like a mourning robe about a lover.
In fact, in short black dresses, all the girls went to the shelter, where Chanel grew up. Such clothes were a typical uniform of saleswomen in Paris. Just before 1926, no one walked in a black dress through the streets.According to one version of the dress was created in memory of Arthur Kapela, her lover, who died in a car crash. Koko was not his official wife and could not wear mourning. This was not approved by the society. But Chanel still dressed in all black, and her fans decided that this is the new fashion. So black dresses became popular. But there is another version of this story. The main competitor Chanel, Paul Poiret, created pompous dresses, protruding breasts. Koko also had the figure of a teenager, she was incensed by the creation of an opponent. One day at the premiere of the Grand Opera, Chanel suddenly found out that all the women in the hall were dressed in colorful and lush. She exclaimed that everything would do the opposite – they would all change into black! So the famous dress appeared as a result of the envy of the competitor’s success. Naturally, the story of mourning for the deceased beloved worked better for Chanel’s image.
Chanel introduced fashion to artificial pearls, finding it more stylish than jewelry.
Koko herself believed that a long string of artificial pearls should be for any woman instead of a precious necklace. After all, a jewel can cause envy, tell about the existence of a rich patron. In fact, the secret of such love for pearls was simple – Koko was embarrassed to wear jewelry. She, even having collected their rich collection, could not overcome herself. Then I had to proclaim my addiction a new fashion rule.
Koko came up with the fragrance of perfume “Chanel No. 5”.
It should be understood that the woman was neither a chemist nor a perfumer. Thanks to the Russian prince Dmitry, she met a talented specialist Ernest Bo. If earlier there were single floral flavors in the fashion, for Chanel the perfumer, at her insistence, created several mixes of artificial aromatic substances. Chanel just chose the option she liked. According to one legend, it was the fifth bubble, while the other says that Coco added to the spirits in the name of her favorite and happy figure. Released in 1921, perfume was created by a Russian perfumer. They became a real sensation.
Koko, having visited a sea cruise, introduced fashion for women to tan.
Koko herself told that she was sunburnt because of a long walk under the sun. This happened unintentionally. For ladies, this skin color was considered unacceptable, but quickly became fashionable. In fact, Chanel simply paid tribute to ordinary people, of whom she came from. She never forgot her roots, demonstrating this at every opportunity. It was after that event that women forgot their sun umbrellas and began to sunbathe.
Coco Chanel was a German spy.
Today historians find archival documents on the cooperation of Coco Chanel with the Germans during the Second World War. It is even said that she was a mediator in negotiations with the British when trying to conclude a separate peace. There is information that Chanel even officially registered in the German intelligence under the operative alias “Fashionable hat.” And allegedly Koko even successfully completed many missions. There was a story in this story without a love story. Chanel had a romantic connection with the German Hans Gunther von Dinklage, who communicated with Hitler and Goebbels. With him, the woman met, trying to free her nephew from prison. Through him, she tried to return the rights to her spirits, bought out by German businessmen. It is believed that Chanel had a novel and with Walter Schellenberg, Himmler’s assistant. Rumors of the betrayal of Coco began immediately after the war. The woman even went to jail. As a result, she was asked to leave France. Fortunately, Chanel found high-ranking patrons, including Winston Churchill himself.