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Gabrielle Coco Chanel (1883-1971) was one of the greatest women of the 20th century. Thanks to her, fashion has experienced a real revolution. Chanel has saved women from unnecessary clothes, reworked the men's suit. In fact, she created a new fashion, throwing away old traditions. It is no coincidence that it is considered a national treasure of France.
Chanel launched the world's first artificial perfume, laying the foundation for modern perfumery. Her independence and willfulness in the male world met with misunderstanding.
Today, studying her biography, you discover that she largely invented it. But doesn't such a woman have the right to be mysterious? We will consider the most popular myths about the great French woman.
Coco Chanel was born in Auvergne in 1893. So she claimed herself. But there is irrefutable documentary evidence that Chanel was born 10 years earlier, in Saumur. But what woman does not want, even with the help of a little lie, to throw off 10 years?
Koko came from a noble impoverished family. And this myth was invented by Chanel herself. But her father, Albert, was a market trader from the common people. Gabriella's mother, Jeanne Devall, worked as a laundress. The couple were not even married. The parents were so illiterate that the mayor of the city, François Poitou, registered the girl who was born.
The nickname "Coco" for the girl was invented by her father. Chanel claimed that her father called her "coco", affectionately calling her daughter "chicken." In fact, Gabrielle got her nickname 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 lovely girl they fell in love with with a symbolic cackle.
Koko did not know how to sketch dresses and cut. This myth was invented by envious Chanel. At the beginning of her career, she preferred not to draw or sew models. Coco created clothes right on the models. She threw fabric over them, cut it with scissors, pinned it with pins, creating a conceived silhouette. The approach was really unconventional, but there was a reason for that. Coco was not a professional dressmaker. In those days, it was forbidden to sew dresses without the appropriate documents.
Chanel has rid women of corsets. This is a beautiful myth, but it is not true. Fashion designer Paul Poiret was the first to refuse waist-tightening corsets in 1906. He thought it ridiculous that the female figure is divided into two parts - raising the bust in front and highlighting the back. I must say that Poiret was at odds with Chanel. The success of the male fashion designer was recognized all over the world, and Coco was frankly jealous of him. It was Poiret who introduced the fashion for thinness, his dresses opened up women's ankles. Chanel was a great plagiarist. She credited herself with the fashion for pearl necklaces, pockets, a little black dress. But all this existed before her. It's just that Chanel, being the daughter of a merchant, understood how to ensure the demand for a product and make it relevant.
Fashion for a boy-like haircut. It is believed that it was Chanel who opened short hair for women. There is a legend that it happened by accident. Koko's gas water heater suddenly caught fire, and the fire scorched her hair. The woman had to radically change her image. He became unexpected but successful. A boy haircut became fashionable in 1917. But there is another, more natural explanation. At that time, the woman wore a long, thick braid, wrapped around her head. Over time, Chanel realized that long hair interfered with her hobby - horse riding. She sharply shortened her hair, and the legend of the fire became part of the PR.
Chanel came up with a little black dress as a mourning robe for a lover. In fact, all the girls in the orphanage where Chanel grew up wore short black dresses. These clothes were typical of the uniform of the saleswomen in Paris. It's just that until 1926 no one walked in a black dress on the streets. According to one version, the dress was created in memory of Arthur Kapel, her lover, who died in a car accident. Coco was not his official wife and could not wear mourning. This was not approved by society. But Chanel still dressed in all black, and her fans decided that this was the new fashion. This is how black dresses became popular. But this story has another version. Chanel's main competitor, Paul Poiret, created pompous dresses that protrude from the chest. Koko had the figure of a teenager, she was outraged by the creation of a rival. Once, at the premiere at the Grand Opera, Chanel suddenly discovered that all the women in the hall were dressed in colorful and magnificent clothes. She exclaimed that she would do the opposite - she would change everyone in black! So the famous dress was born out of jealousy for the success of a competitor. Naturally, the story of mourning for the deceased lover worked better for Chanel's image.
Chanel introduced imitation pearls into fashion, finding them more stylish than jewelry. Coco herself believed that any woman should have a long string of artificial pearls 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 a love for pearls was simple - Koko was embarrassed to wear jewelry. She, even having collected their rich collection, could not overpower herself. Then I had to proclaim my addiction as a new fashion rule.
Coco has invented the fragrance of Chanel No. 5 perfume. It should be understood that the woman was neither a chemist nor a perfumer. Thanks to the Russian prince Dmitry, she met the talented specialist Ernest Bo. If earlier single floral fragrances were in vogue, 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 in a row, while another says that Coco added her favorite and lucky number to the perfume. Released in 1921, the perfume was created by a Russian perfumer. They became a real sensation.
Coco, having been on a sea cruise, introduced a fashion for women to tan. Coco herself said that she was sunburned from a long walk in the sun. This happened unintentionally. For ladies, this skin color was considered unacceptable, but quickly became fashionable. In fact, Chanel simply paid tribute to the common people she came from. She has never forgotten her roots, demonstrating this whenever possible. It was after that incident that the women forgot about their sun umbrellas and began to sunbathe.
Coco Chanel was a German spy. Today historians find archival documents about Coco Chanel's cooperation with the Germans during the Second World War. They even say that she was a mediator in negotiations with the British in an attempt to conclude a separate peace. There is information that Chanel was even officially listed in German intelligence under the operational pseudonym "Fashionable Hat". And supposedly Coco even successfully completed many missions. Not without a love story in this story. Chanel had a romantic relationship with the German Hans Gunther von Dinklage, who communicated with Hitler and Goebbels. The woman met him, trying to free her nephew from prison. Through him, she tried to return the rights to her perfume, bought by German businessmen. It is believed that Chanel had an affair with Walter Schellenberg, Himmler's assistant. Rumors of Coco's betrayal began immediately after the end of the war. The woman even ended up in jail. As a result, she was required to leave France. Fortunately, Chanel found high-ranking patrons, including Winston Churchill himself.