Wild Young Minds: ''In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.''

Monday, February 27, 2012

''In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.''

A few years ago I bought a biography of Coco Chanel but I never actually made time to read it. I have this thing with books - certain books I've got to have and I read all the books that are in my shelve. So it'll probably take a few years 'till I've read them all! And when I have, I've probably bought many, many more again.

Anyway, the person Coco Chanel always intrigued me a lot. She came off very strong and severe (I even heard she had contact with the nazis) but what she made was like, pure elegance.

The biography learned me a lot more about her. How she never told anyone about her youth and family (she was very poor), how there was only one man she had ever really loved - that was Boy Capel, and how he died in a car accident, how she had contact with German soldiers in the second world war indeed, how she disliked gays though she was believed to have feelings for her (female) models herself as well.

Coco Chanel was a woman of different sides. She could be cold as ice, to her friends and family, to her models (who had to stand straight, while she perfectionized the dresses they wore, for hours - she never painted her designs, she always made them on the body) and to herself as well. No real marriage for her, she died alone and famous.

During her life she had some very interesting friendships, among who Winston Churchill, Igor Stravinsky (that was her love interest at one moment in time) and the Duke of Westminster.

And what to say about the clothes she made? I think every girl would wish to have a real Chanel item in their closet. A dress, a bag, a lipstick or a perfume. Coco always looked define. Simple (perhaps too simple for a few among us) but always classy. And very extraordinary at that time. She wore boys' clothes, while women usely looked very feminine. But Coco wore hats, wide pantalons and (fake!) jewelry.

Her most succesful period (though that's hard to say, cause nowadays the house of Chanel is still very succesful) was during the Roaring Twenties. Those were the days, my friend ;) Really, women were standing up for theirselves (as Coco said: 'The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.') and they were called flappers. They drank, they smoked, they listened to jazz and they wore Chanel. Of course.

There's no woman in fashion who is as controversial as Chanel was. Some things she said... But that couldn't be different with such an amazing fashion brand. The film 'Coco avant Chanel' - with a fabulous Audrey Tautou as Coco - confirmed my thoughts about her. A poor woman who made her way to the top. So much power and strength, which live on in the heritage she left us all. For a few it is real and touchable but for the most of us it's desirable - extremely desirable that is. Just like Coco wanted to be herself.

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