Staff Review: "Mademoiselle Chanel"
This novel follows the life of famed fashion designer Coco Chanel from her early years in a convent to the debut of her 1954 collection. For lovers of fashion, there are numerous descriptions of her famous pieces as well as a subplot about development of her still popular scent, Chanel No. 5. Her social circle, which included artists, aristocrats, courtesans, and ballet dancers, as well as her many love affairs are complex and vivid, bringing insight into the various kinds of relationships Chanel had. Those interested in feminism and World War II will also find the author's depiction of Chanel interesting. Her somewhat hypocritical actions during the Nazi occupation of France, as well as her conflicting feelings surrounding the traditional role of women, add depth to an already enigmatic woman. Fashionistas, lovers of French culture, and history buffs will almost certainly find something to enjoy in this book!