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Coco Chanel. Legenda i życie

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,698 Ratings  ·  161 Reviews
Misternie sporządzony portret Coco Chanel to nie tylko jej burzliwe związki, ale także fascynujące okoliczności, jakie towarzyszyły pomysłowi na "małą czarną" czy ukazaniu się na rynku słynnych perfum Chanel nr 5, tajemny język i symbolika, którymi kreatorka opatrywała swoje dzieła, niezwykłe znajomości i przyjaźnie, wpływ dzieciństwa i wczesnej młodości na późniejsze lata ...more
Hardcover, 343 pages
Published February 11th 2011 by Dom Wydawniczy REBIS (first published November 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Rebecca Grace
Aug 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
The author's sycophantic tone nearly turned me off the book in the first chapter. Yet, as fascinated as I am with women's studies and the cultural changes of the early 20th century, AND French history, AND art history, AND Russian revolutionary history, I've grown enthralled with the story of this fascinating life. Millions of girls were born in poor houses and raised in convents in the late 19th century, and most of them lived and died in the squalor and obscurity of their origins. Somehow Gabr ...more
Lisa Rogers
Nov 14, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stopped-reading
I wanted to like this book but it just didn't make sense. A biographer should know better than to throw all her research at the reader, bit by unimportant bit, and then leave the reader to sort it out. The author is content to tell Coco Chanel's story by listing the things she says about herself, what others say about her, then never clears up the incongruence by telling us what her research turned up on the matter. As a result, I know less about Chanel than when I began! The photos are small, p ...more
Love Fool
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sleek. Chic. Notoriously guarded. Welcome to the secret world of Gabrielle Chanel.

I LOVE fashion and Chanel is the woman who started it all for me. Chanel is the symbol for class and I wanted to know all about the woman who changed the fashion world. This book was well written and very interesting. I learned so much about Coco I feel like I personally knew her. She is truly amazing.
Apr 21, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book tried to strike a dreamy tone and just ended up being a boring disappointment. This book commits various transgressions. It begins with a long-winded description of Chanel's rooms instead of with the topic of the biography, Chanel herself--involved descriptions of inanimate objects can never replace the human character or historical figure. Such a chapter is then followed by tall tales woven by Chanel herself, hearsay, and supposition. Those who read biography typically want facts, and ...more
May 24, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had to read this for book club and what a chore - it is a white washed piece of crap - poor indexing and it mostly seems to be quotes for two others who attempted to write Chanel's bio. This author does EVERYTHING she can to soften, blur, and confuse Chanel's antisemitism, homophobia, drug use, all round bitchy-ness, and especially the facts about her Perfume and spying.
Apr 27, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to decide on the rating I should give this book. It is an interesting well written book.. So why three stars? When I was looking for a book about Chanel I was looking to find information and inspiration, as a young professional woman, a designer in a male dominated industry I wanted to hear her voice, to understand her creative vision, to learn more about her business decisions and how a woman from a plane background managed to create an empire in an era when women had to figh ...more
Kate Snow
Dec 25, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Like many other reviewers who gave this a poor rating, I wanted to like it. However, the book was rambling, lacking in facts and I got no insight into the creative side of Chanel's life (apart from her creativity with her life story). Only at the close of the book was there a glimpse of her at work with her scissors. Hagiography at its worst and disappointing.
Ancestral Gael
Why did I read it? I've always had a fascination with this self-made woman, and I remember reading a review of the paperback version of this book on a blog a few years back, and thinking I must read it. When I saw it was available in audio form, I took the opportunity to select it for my commute.

What's it about? It's a factual biography of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, better known as Coco Chanel, the orphaned girl who rose to be one of the most famous names in fashion, if not the most famous; credi
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘Legend is the consecration of fame.’

The name Coco Chanel is synonymous with style. But what of the woman behind the name: what do we know about the woman who designed simple yet sophisticated clothes, practical but elegant bags and shoes, and presented Chanel No 5 perfume to the world?

There is little simple about Coco Chanel. She was born Gabrielle Chanel on 19 August 1883 – a date that she later changed by hand in her passport. Gabrielle Chanel was born in a poorhouse; her parents were unmarri
Bridget Casey
This book made me an even greater fan of Chanel, but I did not like the author's style at all. I found it quite convoluted and it was often difficult to keep track of characters as Picardie went on tangents about their personal histories, irrelevant to their relationship with Chanel. The narration kind of jerks and jolts the reader along, consequently the book lacks fluidity. The collection of photographs is impressive, but they're placed all over the place and more often than not, completely un ...more
Jul 06, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
It's probably pretty interesting if you're a huge Chanel fan and/or really into fashion, but I'm neither of these. I guess I'm not the book's target audience! =P That said, it's just a little bit dry. I got tired of hearing how pretty much everything reported about Chanel is up for debate because she lied so much about her life. I realize things were different back then, but the fact that Chanel lied about her life really turned me off to her. (Not that the brand Chanel really cares because it's ...more
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wish that I hadn't persisted with this book. For a relatively short book (with pictures!) it was a very slow read. It was frustrating, leaden and inconsequential. Chanel blurred her past so successfully that large swathes of the book were essentially saying 'but of course, nobody really knows...' OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
Audrey Gorden
First and foremost, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Being as familiar with fashion as I am, it was in fact an honor to go that deep into Chanel's life by reading this book. By reading this book the readers can not only get a sense of how the major label "Chanel" began, but this book takes us deep into Coco's thought process and emotions; a sort of behind-the-scenes look.

A main reason why I enjoyed the book is that we as the readers are taken back to Chanel's early days, and we realize that her
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Coco Chanel led a very legendary life, which led to a very legendary career. I liked this book a lot because it showed us the real Coco Chanel even though; most of the things the fashion queen told reporters were lies. This book showed Coco Chanel’s strong points as well as her weaknesses. At the age of 12, Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, now known as Coco Chanel, was shipped off to an orphanage with her older sister Julie. Their mother died at the age of 33 and their father refused to take care of th ...more
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although the book as a whole has a lot of details about Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel's life, I found the journalism very, very poor. The book seems to have been written based on emotions, not facts. Many sentences are finished with "Of course, the truth is blurred...", "It's a gray area" etc. Shouldn't the biographer have come to conclusions about these various facts and not leave the reader wondering?

Also, the writer is immensely biased towards Chanel. This might have stemmed from the help Picardie
This is no biography. This is a HUGE disappointment. I wonder how this book made it to "Official Biography". Merely a pile of unfinished research paper draft, or trash, if you ask me. If you were to write a biography of someone like Chanel, at least dig up some truth. Keep quoting other people who interviewed Chanel and merely putting down the various versions of stories told by her is NOT QUALIFIED as a biography!
The only thing I learned about Chanel in this book is that she told nothing but li
I really enjoyed learning about the life of Coco Chanel & this is a comprehensive history. At some points though the writing was just too over the top for me, clutching at straws to make associations that weren't really there. I think the worst one for me was ''Give them chains. Women adore chains.' Perhaps she was being characteristically provocative; or possibly this was as close as she could get to an admission that she had not stopped yearning for the links that bind a woman to a man'. I ...more
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't love this book and I can't tell if it's due to the author's writing style or due to the fact that so little concrete facts are known about Coco Chanel's life, thanks to her tendency to stretch the truth and contradict herself. To be honest it's probably the latter rather than the author. I bought this book after doing a walking tour about Chanel in Paris. For me personally, the book didn't add much to what I learned on the tour. I would probably have been better off with a book on the H ...more
Disappointing. From watching a documentary on Coco Chanel the image of Chanel I got was an independent, smart, and successful business woman who redefined women's fashion; so I was looking forward to reading this book. But the image of Chanel you get from the book is that, yes she was into fashion but what she was really known for were her many affairs. I get annoyed when a book about a woman mainly focuses more on her love life than her successes. I get it, Chanel slept around a lot and didn't ...more
Fascinating to me because I knew so little about the life of Coco Chanel. But I have to wonder what, if anything, this book adds to the literature on Chanel. The author did not actually get to interview her subject, as did several of the biographers who came before her. She spends a great deal of time telling us what biographer X or biographer Y had to say about this or that murky period in the life of Chanel. But she doesn't make anything any less murky. Also, her strategy of presenting Coco's ...more
Annie Oosterwyk
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Why is it that what makes a person so amazing, also makes them difficult to be around? I probably would not have lasted five minutes in a room with Chanel, but she is fascinating beyond belief. I am still floored, thinking of all the important and influential people she surrounded herself with and the history she lived through. Her clothes are nothing that would suit me, but when the author talked about trying them on and the freedom of movement she felt, I was intrigued. I love that Chanel got ...more
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
very odd! It was hard to get through because of the writing - throwing everything at the reader that had ever been said, knowing that most of it was lies. Eventually, you get a sense that Coco was a very independent/strong, secretive, sad, very talented, determined woman, who had trouble with relationships in the world she chose to live in. She found that she couldn't trust anyone, male or female, and that's what I find so sad.
Alexandra Sundarsingh
Any allure this book has comes from the subject. The writing, though direct, lacks the polish and smoothness that draws one inexplicably forward into a story, and so the biography comes off (potentially on purpose) as distant as Chanel must have seemed to be at times herself. I enjoyed the little bout of history, but I'm not sure I'd recommend this to anyone who didn't already love fashion or Chanel. Not a bad read overall.
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Generally Disappointing- left me wanting more detail about the enigmatic Gabrielle and needing less about those who surrounded her. And there surely must be more and better photos of such a legendary woman than those included in the book. I know a little more of Coco but the true Gabrielle remains a mystery. This book would lead me to belief that is how Chanel preferred it to remain.
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Had to put it down unfinished. I was visiting Paris and wanted a relevant book, a biography. I learned that Coco told a lot of lies in her life! They can't even unravel the lies enough to tell a cohesive story. The timelines jumped around too much for me, and I usually follow multi-perspective books quite well. Sorry Coco.
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who needs fiction when you can read biographies like this? Very interesting life and very convoluted today seems very tame when compared to her lifestyle.
I really enjoyed this biography, and woul recommend it, as I really didnt know anything about her childhood, growth of her business, war time activities, or her many relationships--
Cj Rey
Jan 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, Coco, you certainly were a strong woman with great talent and some interesting connections but I certainly wouldn't want to be you or even hang out with you.

Disappointing how much of the book is speculation and rumors. Includes some interesting tidbits and a few great photos.
Katie Britt
This book promised to be exciting, what with the high fashion and elite society, but it read like the driest textbook ever. Painful.
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read sample on my Kindle. I really liked it and found it interesting. It's not something I'll buy straight away but I'll probably read the full book in the future.
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“But I've wept so much,' she said to Delay. 'Now I don't cry any more. When you don't cry it's because you no longer believe in happiness.” 10 likes
“Saint Laurent has excellent taste. The more he copies me, the better taste he displays. - Coco Chanel” 9 likes
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