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The Allure of Chanel

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3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  153 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Coco Chanel invited Paul Morand to visit her in St Moritz at the end of the Second World War when he was given the opportunity to write her memoirs; his notes of their conversations were put away in a drawer and only came to light one year after Chanel's death. Through Morand's transcription of their conversations, Chanel tells us about her friendship with Misia Sert, the ...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Pushkin Collection (first published January 1st 1976)
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Joan
Feb 13, 2010 Joan added it
Morand first met Coco Chanel in 1921, and in 1946 was invited to visit Chanel in St. Moritz, where he had extensive conversations with her, with a view to help write her memoirs. That project never came off, and the notes were put away and did not surface again until after Chanel's death, and were published finally in 1976.

It's pretty well known by now that Chanel created herself in more ways than one, inventing stories about her childhood and upbringing, but the reality of a young woman who bro
...more
Sherry
Sep 17, 2010 Sherry rated it really liked it
Morand did an interview with Chanel and then transcribed the notes. It's really interesting because it's Chanel telling the story. It isn't just a story of an ambitious woman who wanted to change fashion, it was someone who didn't fit in. Sometimes she was insecure, sometimes bitter and arrogant. There's so much emotion that you really get pulled into who she is.
I think another interesting thing is the perspective. Sometimes she'll acknowledge lying, other times denounce that she lies. It makes
...more
Sophia Sun P.
I’m very intrigued by the mind and life of Mademoiselle Chanel, so I was all too happy to discover this little gem with some of her own words, thoughts and stories as told to Paul Morand. However, I found it a bit annoying to read – choppy, like a poorly translated transcript from an overdrawn interview. And since, I am a fan of the woman and the brand, I was aware of her strong desire for recreation and redemption from her true past which lead to a long list of lies, revisions and recreations. ...more
Catherine Corman
Mar 16, 2009 Catherine Corman rated it liked it
"You who are such an artistic person..." an elderly gentleman whom I didn't know said to me at a dinner party.

"I am not an artistic person."

"Then," he replied, squinting anxiously at my invitation card, "you are not Mlle Chanel."

"No, I am not her," I replied, to simplify things.

-Paul Morand, The Allure of Chanel
WORN Fashion Journal
Coco Chanel is arguably the most quoted woman in fashion. Her charming, witty prose style is undoubtedly enjoyable, but Chanel herself is more difficult to read. In this book, all of her famous and infamous lines are pierced together to form one text, overflowing with eccentricity. The book’s title is ironic - Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s translated diary hardly makes her seem alluring in the most obvious sense of the word. However, it is interesting to see inside the mind of one of fashion’s most ...more
Meika
Jan 30, 2011 Meika rated it really liked it
This is a short book, so I was able to read it all in one day. It's wandering and haphazardly coherent; the chapters are like loose-leaf bundles of quotes. It does little to dispel the "mystery" around Coco Chanel, instead it intensifies it. Almost like the chapters of her life that she's willing to share with you are items in her collection, which she cuts, colors and embellishes as she sees fit, then parades onto the show floor for ten seconds amid flashbulbs and ambient music.
She covers ever
...more
Dorota
Jun 22, 2016 Dorota rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
In fact it's not a biography book. It's a collection of Coco Chanel's memories. It is easy to read and very interesting. It brings a picture of Paris back then. It's nice to follow the way how she was thinking not only about the fashion. Only thing that bothered me a bit was that the chapters and the anecdotes are chopped in peaces without connections. But anyway, I'd recommend it
Ernestas Vascenka
Incredibly smart, witty and prescient - this book is the most quotable thing I have ever read.
E.C. McCarthy
Adding this to a short list of all-time favourite books. I will undoubtedly read it again and again. Far more engaging than A Moveable Feast. It's Paris the way it ought to be experienced -- through the eyes of an independent woman. The new illustrations by Lagerfeld are perfect.

"I cannot take orders from anyone else, except in love; and even then..." (p.85)

"Every time I've done something reasonable, it's brought me bad luck." (p.197)
Josefine
Oct 10, 2010 Josefine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was so, so good and beautiful.
It's Coco Chanel's autobiography, but it's not chronological or written like a biography at all - it's just her thoughts on certain topics and it was such an inspiring read.

You don't even have to be interested in fashion to like this book or Coco Chanel as a person. She was a truly fascinating and admirable woman who changed not only women's fashion but also women's minds.
Dirlididi
Jan 10, 2012 Dirlididi rated it really liked it
Читается так же легко как носится 2.55
Это не биография кутюрье, а скорее разговор с Коко Шанель и возможность узнать ее мнение на вещи, которые ее окружали и на людей, с которыми она пересекалась по жизни.
В книге не много исторических фактов о её жизни, зато много острых и честных высказываний великой женщины, не потерявшие со временем совей актуальности и остроумия.
Nicole Fischer
Dec 08, 2013 Nicole Fischer rated it liked it
I've always been a huge admirer of Chanel. She truly was a strong and towering figure. Quite frightening. Still adore her, although i feel as if we would hate each other if we ever were in a room together. Correction i would probably adore her in fear as she despised me for it.
Jane
Jan 07, 2015 Jane rated it it was ok
This book is an accumulation of author notes from an interview with Chanel in the 1940s. Several interesting tidbits were included, but it fell miserably short on autobiographical information.
Evgenia
Aug 21, 2013 Evgenia rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2013, biography
'I loathe advice, not because I am stubborn, but, on the contrary, because I am easily influenced. Besides, people only offer you playthings, medicaments and advice that work for them'. ( Chanel)
Meredith
Nov 04, 2008 Meredith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully illustrated by Karl Lagerfeld, this is a very intimate portrait of Chanel taken from conversations with her. Lots of wonderful quotes.
Amy
Aug 25, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it
Coco Chanel was insane!!!! It was a fun little book. I appreciate a girl with a little sass.
Katya
huaa .. kerenth .. my fave designer all the time . :))
Margaret
Sep 30, 2012 Margaret rated it liked it
Interesting stories and illustrations by Karl.
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Paul Morand was a French diplomat, novelist, playwright and poet, considered an early Modernist.

He was a graduate of the Paris Institute of Political Studies (better known as Sciences Po). During the pre-war period, he wrote many short books which are noted for their elegance of style, erudition, narrative concision, and for the author's observation of the countries he visited combined with his mi
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“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous” 7 likes
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