Thursday, 16 November 2017

"Chanel: The Enigma" by Isabelle Fiemeyer

Title: Chanel: The Enigma
Author: Isabelle Fiemeyer
Genre: Biography 
Overall: 8/10

This new biography offers unprecedented insight into Coco Chanel’s complex and enigmatic life and features previously unpublished information and images. Coco Chanel continues to beguile more than two decades after her death; her life and work are a source of enduring fascination. Chanel expert Isabelle Fiemeyer unveils the mysteries that have surrounded the private and public figure by piecing together new research with accounts from Chanel’s intimate friends and relatives, artists, writers, photographers, directors, actors, and those who worked with her inside the House of Chanel.She describes Chanel’s carefully crafted persona and then gradually unveils each layer of mystery that surrounded the great fashion designer to reveal the woman behind the intrigue. While Chanel was sometimes reviled and vilified, this account offers fresh revelations about her life. The handsome volume includes photographs and previously unpublished material, including new documents from the wartime period.

Jo's review:
I have stumbled upon this book circling around the university library. They didn't have the marketing book I needed for uni and I still don't know how I ended up in a fashion studies section. I love reading biographies of inspirational people and Chanel is definitely one of them. This isn't a typical biography though, it's more of an insight of the source of Coco's genius, it explains were all her ideas came from. Reading through the chapters you discover how the legend was created and developed. The origin of double C, the vision of a little black dress that would suit every occasion, the idea behind the perfume that brought her fortune and became a synonym of women's fragrance. It's mind blowing how one woman started a revolution, how she freed women from the prison of conventions. This book also describes extremely pure and loyal relationship with her friends for whom she lived for. All of them were artists, like Dali, Cocteau or Reverdy, and they all adored her charm and magnetism. When I came across this book I thought it might be a typical coffee table book, which is more of a decoration you flick through when bored. But I'm so glad I've given it a try, it was purely inspirational!

Favourite quotes:
"Sometimes Coco Chanel's tragic grandeur contains elements of quiet simplicity."

"She undressed men to dress herself with their power."


  1. I love beautiful big books like this one ! It would make a perfect Christmas present in my opinion ! I love to give a flicked through this kind of books ! I love Lisa Eldridge one !

  2. Yes I think it could be a really interesting read there

  3. Coco Chanel is iconic. My BFF would die for this book. Sounds wonderful, Jo :)

  4. Such an iconic figure, this sounds very interesting :)