I have just finished reading the book Coco Chanel And The Pulse Of History by Rhonda K. Garelick for the second time. Yup, that’s how much I recommend it. Extraordinary book about Coco Chanel and everyone who ever touched her life. Before I finished reading it the first time- I had in possession my first Chanel perfume (Coco Madmoselle) and a faux pearl necklace. Now, after second time I’m thinking about Chanel no5 and all the other (non-material) things with that iconic CC insignia :
1. Our beginnings do not define our future
She was born at the end of 19th century, the time when rights were given (or taken) at the birth. Left with her sisters at the orphanage by her father, right after passing of her young mother- was far from a great start. But with brilliance of her mind, hard work and creativity she became one of the most famous women in the world. And may I remind you, this was before Insta-stars, You Tube and Idol. Her life legacy tells us that with the right attitude everything is possible.
2. Never be afraid to try something new
Gabriel Coco Chanel was a true pionir. Chanel no 5 was the first sintetic perfume in the world (also the most sold perfume in history). She made black color elegant and forever changed how we look at woman’s fashion (among many other things). Was it scary? Probably. Society wasn’t so adjustable in those times as it is today- and that is precisely why we should take advantage of these times we live in and be fearless when it comes to standing out and being different. And who knows? Maybe we also leave a mark in history.
3. Knowledge is power
Even after gaining her fortune, Coco knew that the ony way to be ecsepted in high society was through knowledge. She hired people who would educate her on subjects of art, history and literature. Of course we live in different times now. We don’t have to read a book to learn about the subject- we just have to ask Google. Nevertheless, principle is the same- we should understand and educate ourselves (at least) on the subjects we want to be a part of.
4. Surround yourself with people you want to become
She wanted to rise from her circumstances so she surrounded herself with people who would help her do that. Consciously or unconsciously they inspired her, pushed her , encouraged her to become a greater version of herself. Today, we don’t have to go and seek these people- we have many other options, such as podcasts, videos, and books.
5. Energy work
At the beginning of the book, there was a significant section on Coco’s interest in theosophy and everything mystical. She was known to believe and get involved in talismans, tarot, astrology, energy and many other spiritual practices. In today’s vocabulary that means that she was working with the law of attraction. Now, this could be just my opinion but that would also explain her unusual success for those (rather difficult) times. For me, this is yet another proof the that law of attraction is real and that we should all get in touch with it.
6. Hidden luxury
At some point in her life, she started practicing hidden luxury in her creations. She would put the most expensive fabric and details on the inside with explanation: “Luxury must remain nearly invisible, it must be felt. Luxury is the coat a women throws inside out over an arm chair and the underside is more valuable than the exterior.”- she said in one interview. I think that this philosophy can be applied on many other things in our life beside clothing…
7. It’s never too late for a comeback
In 1954 after 15 years, a 71 year old Chanel decided to reopen the doors of Chanel House with a comeback collection- proofing that it’s never too late start again. So before you start saying things like: “I’m too old for this.”- think again.
I’ll leave you with this my friends. I hope you find some inspiration in these stories and if you crave more of Coco- get the book. It’s, without any exaggeration, one the best books I ever read ❤
Have a lovely day! xoxo