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Gabrielle Chanel’s Resounding Entrepreneurship

CHANEL, The Chronicles:

Co-directed by Thierry Demaiziere, and Alban Teurial, Advertising and Production Company Falabracks, Paris, produced a series of short-story, online commercials for the House of CHANEL, with superbly crafted film-graphics, 

‘INSIDE CHANEL’ chronicles the fascinating story of Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel’s entrepreneurial initiatives in the 1920’s, and her passionate drive to become a successful perfumer and designer, of trendsetting fashions and accessories.

1. INSIDE CHANEL Chapter 21, Gabrielle’s Pursuit of Passion

In spite of accusations of having been a Nazi collaborator during WW II, her CHANEL brand, against all odds, flourished to International fame and fortune.

The accusations levelled against her, were fuelled by her decade-long affair with the prominent anti-Semite, The Duke of Westminster, and her later travels across Europe with her lover, Third Reich officer Baron Hans Günther von Dincklage.

Her wartime affiliations were officially, and extensively investigated, but as for the damming accusations, based on hearsay and conjecture, not a shred of factual evidence could be found, and after several months, that case was dismissed.

Later in life Gabrielle established the House of CHANEL in Paris as her couture business hub, and lived in an apartment across the road in the Ritz Hotel, where she passed away peacefully on the 10th of January, 1971.

2. INSIDE CHANEL Chapter 12, Paris

Agence France-Presse 28 September 2020:

The first permanent fashion-museum in Paris, opened in 2020 at the Palais Galleria, after extensive renovations, with a major retrospective on the life and work of Gabrielle”Coco” Chanel. 

3. INSIDE CHANEL Chapter 19, The Time of Chanel

Curated by Palais Galleria Director Miren Arzalluz, the exhibition titled, ‘Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto’, presented a comprehensive, and impressive tribute to the greatest style icon of 20th century, whose designs still shape contemporary fashions.

Many of the dresses she designed and wore a century ago, are so startlingly modern, that they could grace present-day, fashion-show catwalks.

4. INSIDE CHANEL Chapter 18, A Rebel At Heart

Being a rebel at heart, Chanel’s passionately felt kinship with the ‘Flappers of The Roaring Twenties’, was enviable.    

Throughout the devastating conflict of the First World War, hundreds of women, some as young as 18, were actively engaged in highly demanding and strategically important auxiliary functions. 

Many were seconded as ambulance drivers, and drove into towns and cities under heavy bombardment with laudatory bravery and efficiency on countless rescue missions.

At the end of the war they celebrated their new found self-assurance, liberation, and spirit of independence, by flouting the prevailing social, and sexual norms, of female subservience and decorum, during what became known as; ‘The Era of the Roaring Twenties’.

They wore short skirts, used excessive makeup, bobbed their hair, drank champagne, bourbon on ice, and vodka martinis, smoked in public, drove sporty open-top cars, listened to jazz, and became known as ‘Flappers’.

5. INSIDE CHANEL Chapter 15, The Self-Portrait of a Perfume

Chanel was inspired to create a new scent for ‘Flappers’ that would celebrate their liberated spirit, and sought the aid of master perfumer, Ernest Beaux’s renowned expertise.

Her assignment brief to Ernest Beaux was influenced by the six years of her youth Chanel spent at the Aubazine Covent, a Cistercian orphanage, in the Seine, Nouvelle-Aquit region, of central France.

The fragrant scents of the abbey gardens, and Cistus rock roses of the surrounding hillsides, made an indelible impression on her. 

Moreover, the paths she took to the Covent cathedral for daily prayers, were laid out in repeating patterns of 5 circles; a number that became a deeply felt spiritual and mystic association for her.

And out of the 24 scent samples Ernest Beaux created for her, she chose sample No 5, her lucky number, and decided that would be the name of her new perfume.

6. INSIDE CHANEL Chapter 16, The Camellia

The are many stories of how the flowering Camellia Japonica spoke to Chanel, symbolically and romantically, for her to adopt it as her signature bloom, that featured in many of her designs for shoes, dresses, jewellery, handbags, patterned fabric, and the lacquered screens in her Paris apartment.

Her choice of brand icon was probably also motivated by the white Camellia flower’s traditional associations in Asia, of resilient beauty, longevity and fidelity. 

7. INSIDE CHANEL Chapter 2, Marilyn

Hollywood Movie Star Marilyn Monroe’s unsolicited endorsement of Chanel No 5, proved to be highly fortuitous, and became part of the brand’s enduring persona that inspired commercials of glamorous love stories, featuring famous actresses.