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Happy Birthday Coco Chanel

The name Coco Chanel simply is fashion. Born Gabrielle Bonheur in 1883 in Saumur, France, Coco was raised in orphanages where the nuns taught how to sew, a skill that would make her one of the greatest influencers of the twentieth century. After a brief spell as a singer – for which Gabrielle adopted the name Coco – she opened her first shop in 1910 with investment from her lovers. She sold hats on the now iconic Rue Cambon and as her business expanded she began to design dresses. The 1920s saw the cementing of the Coco Chanel legend with the release of the No 5 fragrance and the debut of the little black dress. During the Second World War her business closed temporarily and in peace time she faced accusations of Nazi colloboration. Her reputation eventually recovered and up until her death on January 10, 1971 she was synonmous with timeless elegance and the everlasting bon mot. A young woman once asked her “Where should one use perfume?” to which she replied “Wherever one wants to be kissed.”

As today marks the French designer’s birthday and we’re celebrating by remembering some of her best quotes. If you don’t find a life mantra below you’re doing this whole living thing wrong.

“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.”

“You live but once; you might as well be amusing.”

“Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.”

“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”

“I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think about you at all.”

“As long as you know men are like children, you know everything!”

“How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.”

“The best things in life are free. The second best things are very, very expensive.”

“A beautiful dress may look beautiful on a hanger, but that means nothing. It must be seen on the shoulders, with the movement of the arms, the legs, and the waist.”

I don’t do fashion, I AM fashion.”

“It is always better to be slightly underdressed.”

“I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”

 

Jeanne Sutton @jeannedesutun

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