Pearls, Perfume, and the Little Black Dress

Picture it. The scene is France in the early 20th century, a day when corsets still have a grasp on society and skirts rise no higher than the ankle. This is a day when women are still restrained by the clothing they wear, but not for long if Miss Coco has anything to say about it.

Before she was the fabulous designer known the world round, Miss Coco was just plain little Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel. Like most families of the times, hers was split apart by several troubles, including the fact that her parents were not married and her father was constantly off getting into another mess. Her mother died, leaving Coco and her sister to become humble parts of an orphanage where she began her first steps on the journey to becoming a fashion designer by learning how to sew. This is the story of Coco, how she rose above her beginnings to become the influence of a decade. This is the story of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, whose plans for romance never quite worked out. This is the story of Chanel, a woman who may or may not have been a Nazi sympathizer. This is the story of pearls, perfume, and the little black dress.

Written beautifully by Susan Goldman Rubin and packed full of pictures from the period, Coco Chanel: Pearls, Perfume, and the Little Black Dress is a wonderful read for anyone whether young or old. I recommend picking it up as an adult or as a child, because it is acc accessible read for all that explores the past of a well-known historical figure , showcasing both the highs and lows of her life with  great candor.

Chime Time! Have you ever bought something designed by Chanel or worn her signature perfume?

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