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Gabrielle Chanel’s Resounding Entrepreneurship

INSIDE CHANEL, The Chronicles:

Advertising and Production Company Falabracks, Paris, produced a series of short-story, online commercials, for the House of CHANEL, chronicling 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.

Co-directed by Thierry Demaiziere, and Alban Teurial, the series features superbly crafted visual graphics that are bound to delight designers and advertising practitioners.

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 of Nazi collaboration levelled against her, were fueled 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 investigated, but the Nazi collaboration accusations could not be conclusively proven, and she was never charged.

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 died on 10 January 1971.

2. INSIDE CHANEL Chapter 12, Paris

Agence France-Presse 28 September 2020:

After extensive renovations, The Palais Galliera in Paris reopened on 1 October 2020 as the city’s first permanent fashion museum with a major retrospective on the life and work of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel.

3. INSIDE CHANEL Chapter 19, The Time of Chanel

Curated by Miren Arzalluz, director of Palais Galliera, the exhibition titled, ‘Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto’, is an immense 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, they could grace the catwalk now.

4. INSIDE CHANEL Chapter 18, A Rebel At Heart

Being a rebel at heart, Chanel’s passionate affinity with the ‘Flappers of The Roaring Twenties’, was inevitable.

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

Many were seconded as ambulance drivers. They 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 a period called, ‘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. She sought the help of master perfumer Ernest Beaux who produced 24 sample scents for her based on her exacting brief.

Chanel spent six years of her youth in Aubazine Covent, a Cistercian orphange in the Nouvelle-Aquit Affiliation Seine region of central France.

The rock roses (Cistus) of the surrounding hillsides and the fragrant scents of the abbey gardens along the paths she took to the cathedral for daily prayers, made an indelible impression on her.

The paths 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 perfumer Ernest Beaux’s 24 samples, 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 Camellia spoke to Chanel symbolically and romantically for her to adopt it as her signature bloom, which featured on everything from shoes, to the lacquered screens in her Paris apartment, to dresses, jewelry, handbags and patterned fabric.

Originally cultivated in Asia, the white Camellia flower, as a symbol of resilient beauty, has a traditional association with longevity and fidelity: Characteristics that are probably the real motivation of Chanel’s pragmatic adoption of the legendary bloom as her brand icon.

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.