The ever inspiring Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel was born on this date (August 19th) in 1883 which would make her 128. It is amazing to me how she continues to resonate. While she continues to pop up in the news (just this week in fact), the truth about who she was, exactly how old she was and what she did during and around World War II continues to grab the attention of the public – in the fashion world and beyond. Whether or not the claims in the book written by Hal Vaughan are true (and I must say I want to read his book which is precisely why he wrote it – for the controversy it would cause, followed by interest to buy the book), what is clear to me about Coco Chanel is that she was a survivor – plain and simple – since the time she was an orphan until she resurrected the House of Chanel in her 70’s.
While I’ve only read one biography about her life, it seems to me she had an unquenchable inner strength to create a life that seemed impossible to others but that she resolutely believed she deserved to achieve as long as she didn’t cower. And cower she never did. Between always remaining a mystery, daring to dress the needs of women that were gaining more independence and freedom and proceeding to live life on her terms, she succeeded in inspiring generations that hadn’t even been born yet. That is a legacy to be proud of. That is a legacy that can withstand criticism because as I see it, critics are talented with their words, but those who can withstand said criticism resonate much louder. Happy birthday Coco.
“Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future.” – Coco Chanel