Chanel’s Biography

Last week I finished reading one of the many biographies about Coco Chanel. While I think it’s a bit bizarre to write a book review for a fashion blog, Chanel played a massive role in shaping how women dress today.

Knowing that many people prefer to read fiction instead of history, I wanted to give a brief lowdown of the the book to try to entice my fellow fiction junkies into reading it.

This book is a rag to riches story full of scandal and drama.

Throughout the course of the book, you can read about her involvement with drugs, romantic scandals and even Nazis- including a Nazi spy love story(I’m not even slightly kidding).

It’s filled with fun anecdotes and you’ll learn many interesting facts to bring up if you find yourself in a conversation about fashion. Fashion, after all, is tied into the economy and society. It’s well sourced as well, so you know that you’re getting solid information.

The book is laid out very well but it lost my attention in a few spots. If it does the same for you, try to push through, it gets better. Obviously Chanel isn’t alive anymore, but the author still does an amazing job at tugging on the heartstrings. I never expected to feel so much when reading a biography.

A qualm I have with this book is its unnecessarily use of “big words” in an effort to seem pretentious. You may want to read this on an ereader, like I did, or keep a dictionary handy. That noted, it still does cut into the flow of reading when you often need to stop to see what something means.


I’d give the book three and a half out of five stars. It was a well-written academic biography that could keep my attention for the most part, and almost made me cry at the end. That’s a tall order for a biography. It lost points for losing my attention in one part and the need to read with a dictionary close by.

I borrowed it through my library and would recommend it for you as well. If you want to buy it, it’s only a $5 ebook for Kindle.