Coco Chanel was an extraordinary inventor - she conjured up the little black dress, bobbed hair, trousers for women, contemporary chic, best-selling perfumes, and the most successful fashion brand of all time - but she also invented herself, fashioning the myth of her own life with the same dexterity as her couture.
While Chanel was supreme innovator and vendor of all things elegant and beautiful, what lies beneath her own glossy myth is darker and far more disturbing. Living through two World Wars, and surviving Nazi occupation of Paris by embarking on an affair with a German officer, Coco Chanel's life and the evolution of her brand are undeniably interlocked to her actions during this treacherous time.
In this book, Justine Picardie brings the mysterious Gabrielle Chanel out of hiding, to celebrate her great achievements, at the same time as casting a clear eye over her transgressions. She examines Chanel's enduring afterlife, as well as her remarkable life, uncovering the consequences of what she covered up, unpicking the seams between truth and legend, yet keeping intact the real fabric of her past.