Coco Chanel: the woman and the myth

Posted on March 7, 2011

This year marks the 40th anniversary of his death was met. Despite the passage of time, his legacy lives on and his biography still remains shrouded in legend.


Trying to approach life in such an important time-and enigmatic woman like Coco Chanel has been a goal of many filmmakers, writers and theater directors. Each rewrote its own way, the outlines of a biography that is still difficult to separate legend and myth.
Rumors and speculation about his life are so confusing point that even his nickname is controversial. For some, "Coco" refers to an affectionate nickname because of his aunts while not lacking who says that is a apocope of "Cocotte" in French means something like "maintained".
Beyond these details, Coco Chanel (born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel in 1883) had an intense life. She was raised in an orphanage of which came at age 17 with the intention of asserting his talent. Led by her millionaire lover Etienne Balsan, "entered" a Parisian high society, where he learned to move with charm and ductility.


By the year 1913, he opened his first store: a hat. They would be the first steps of a career that few would object later. His personal life, however, it would still put it in the center of controversy much less happy. In this sense, the darkest page was her affair with a Nazi officer, would pay history by a long exile in Switzerland.

A key legacy

Beyond the labyrinthine paths of private life, the role of Coco Chanel in the fashion world today unanimously recognized. His contribution was crucial to women's wardrobes: it interpreted in the twentieth-century woman who went to work and needed to dress for the purpose.


Katharine Hepburn Coco impersonating a work of 1969.

Thanks to Coco, were imposed and masificaron garments that now seem absolutely essential. Thus, suits, trousers and functional white shirts became popular straight lines. It also set new standards in how colors: women could and would also wear black or gray (colors hitherto associated only men).
For his profile mysterious woman and undeniable creative merit, the life and work of Coco were soon seduced into show business. In 1969, Katharine Hepburn starred in a successful play. Then, after his death in 1971, reach countless movies about its history. One of the most recent is the one that was released in France in 2009, with Audrey Tatou (the same of "Amélie") in the lead role.
And while the film and literature add their own versions more or less faithful to the life of this iconic creator, the legend halo extends and consolidates.


Coco Chanel and Audrey Tatou.
Written by Andrés Bacigalupo
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