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Monday, January 17, 2011


Channel is a fashion icon. To me, she is THE fashion icon.

Currently I am reading her biography. I am only about 50 pages into the book, and enjoying it. The part of the book that has held the greatest impact on me thus far, has been that of her childhood.

"Channel's childhood was a lonely, empty one, without much substance or love. After her mother's death, neither side of the family would take her or her siblings in. Instead, they sent the Channel and her two sisters off to a nun's convent/orphanage, where they lived until their teens. Her two little brothers were sold to a farm that employed children for labor, with no pay.

Channel learned to sew while in the orphanage, and when she left the orphanage as a teen, she worked as a seamstress as she moved around. Something I found interesting and was unaware of, was that Channel sang in jazz bars to help her get past those rough days in her life.

Channel's nickname was Coco. It was a name given to her as a young girl. Her real name was Gabrielle and she was born as what she called, "A bastard child." Something she could not easily get over, even though her parents ultimately married.

Sadly, Coco was known as an adamant liar. She had even been quoted many times admitting so. Coco was concerned that her past would enter her future and ruin her life. Because of this, she tried to pay her brother's off so that they would never publicly admit they were related to her. It is sad that she had to go through these extremes, but one can never understand another persons actions unless one has walked in their shoes.

I want to make it a point that NO ONE knows the truth about Coco Channel's life. ONLY COCO does. For this reason, I take such biographies with a grain of salt. I admire Channel and love what she has done for the fashion and design industries.


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