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Tuesday, May 4, 2010


We are on quite the Chanel kick here; first the Petite Peachy Panel read Different Like Coco: 

Next we read Karen Karbo's work:

So, we were looking forward to reading another!  And Riverhead books came out with a winner.  Though this is fictional, we highly enjoyed it and think you will too, particularly the women in Manhattan!  A remarkable, driven, independent, successful woman, Coco Chanel embodied what many strive for, and though we never met her, as a person she seems to be portrayed as we understand she was though this is not a factual book.  General Chanel themes such as less is more are reiterated, and the writing is exquisite.

One of our favorite quotes:
"Storms always thrill her-the more spectacular the better.  She loves their power, their ability to pulverize the earth."  The entangled web that is spun will spur on the reader throughout the 300 plus pages and as you are transported back in time, you will grow to appreciate the designer, the person, and the lifestyle that is Chanel.

We particularly like the timeline at the end!  Whom You Know recommends Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky.


From the marquees of indie movie houses to the fickle fashion blogosphere, Coco Chanel and her legacy of simple elegance, enduring style and female empowerment are everywhere these days.
Chris Greenhalgh’s COCO CHANEL & IGOR STRAVINSKY (Riverhead Trade Paperback Original; $15.00; December 1, 2009) sumptuously portrays the brief, fiery and little-known affair between Chanel and legendary composer Igor Stravinsky.
Greenhalgh’s screen adaptation of the novel was given the honor of closing this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and immediately picked up by Sony Pictures Classics, which will soon release in the U.S. But COCO CHANEL & IGOR STRAVINSKY is a novel that stands alone—one that fashionistas, classical music fans and lovers of historical fiction alike will want to get their hands on.
In 1913 Paris, Diaghilev’s celebrated Ballet Russes premiered Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. In the audience was young couturiere Coco Chanel, who witnessed the birth of a new art form—one that, like her designs, tore down the artifice of an old regime and ushered in something profoundly modern. Chanel was enthralled by the performance and by its Russian composer.
Seven years later, a chance meeting ignited a spark between the composer and the designer. Chanel invited Russian exile Stravinsky to spend the summer at her black-and-beige villa outside of Paris. Soon, Stravinsky, his ailing wife, Catherine, and their four children moved in with Chanel.
Under one roof, the obvious romantic pull between the composer and the designer grew into a deep and passionate affair—one that affected their artistic lives as well as their emotions. As Stravinsky enjoyed a new burst of creativity, leading his music in a new direction, Chanel brought forth her most lasting creation: the legendary perfume Chanel No. 5.
But the affair was complicated by both parties’ single-minded devotion to their work, and Stravinsky’s commitment to his family. As Catherine, confined to her bed, came to suspect what was happening around her, the two lovers were forced to consider the depth of their feelings, and whether, with the autumn drawing in, theirs was a relationship that could survive.
Weaving together the story of this passionate affair with the story of the creation of two iconic works of the 20th Century, COCO CHANEL & IGOR STRAVINSKY is a compulsively readable account of a chance meeting that forever influenced the course of artistic history.


by Chris Greenhalgh

Riverhead Trade Paperback Original

December 1, 2009 • $15.00 • ISBN: 978-1-59448-455-1

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