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It does have some of the more dimensional coffee flavors underneath, but all in all, it's a social drink that you probably don't think much about. Anything biographically related to Coco Chanel's history, story and rise to fame. The book gave me a peek into the fascinating personality of an influential person. I might actually try to read more on the woman. There If biographies were coffee, then Karen Karbo's book would be a mocha cafe latte.

There were also some very inspirational maxims Chanel planted into the collective conscious. I'm glad I learned them. Karbo's life-lesson analysis of Chanel's biography. The book is written like a "you-go-girl" article in a magazine. Expect to see fashion puns everywhere and that sassy work-hard-for-you-money-and-man chick lit tone that is so popular in books for woman.

I also was quite "meh" over Karbo's personal will-I-won't-I-buy-real-Chanel story. Sep 17, Gilded Locks rated it it was ok. This book is three parts biography, one part self-help, along with a few of the author's related personal experiences on her quest to acquire a Chanel jacket. Chanel led an interesting and inspiring life, so I'm not sure it's possible to write a book about her that's not at least somewhat interesting.

I particularly enjoyed the various anecdote's about Chanel and her famously sharp wit. However, I was somewhat put off by the sweeping generalizations often relating to gender that Karbo makes t This book is three parts biography, one part self-help, along with a few of the author's related personal experiences on her quest to acquire a Chanel jacket. However, I was somewhat put off by the sweeping generalizations often relating to gender that Karbo makes th However, I was somewhat put off by the sweeping generalizations often relating to gender that Karbo makes throughout the life-advice portions of the book.

Also, the book, on the whole, doesn't seem particularly well-structured. It doesn't always go in chronological order of Chanel's life, and there are often random tangents that, while at times entertaining, seem like they were inserted where they were because the author couldn't find a better place to put them. The writing style is definitely informal, so it reads easily, but I found the opinionated attempts at humor rather abrasive at times. Nov 04, Juliana rated it it was amazing.

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The reason why i really like the book it's that the Karen Karbo writes is very different of many biographies. In this book she shows her point of view of this amazing woman who was Chanel, including self experiences. It is amazing how she was able to put the Chanel's rules into the modern society, not only telling the story of Coco, showing as well the story of Maison Chanel, as, for example, the difference between the actual Chanel and the old one. The focus in this book is basically all the th The reason why i really like the book it's that the Karen Karbo writes is very different of many biographies.

The focus in this book is basically all the things that Chanel used to say and how she stood by those 'rules' until she died. Jun 20, Laura C. Since the closest I will ever come to the world of couture is being addicted to Project Runway, I really enjoyed this peek into the rise of Coco Chanel. Truly a self-made woman, it she we have to thank for freeing women from corsets and upholstery fabric dresses. It is also her fault that fashion now favors the ultra thin and boyish figure, because she looked like that and made clothes for people who looked like her. She was quite a fascinating creature, and I give you a sample of her aphorisms Since the closest I will ever come to the world of couture is being addicted to Project Runway, I really enjoyed this peek into the rise of Coco Chanel.

She was quite a fascinating creature, and I give you a sample of her aphorisms here: What it takes to make it, listed in order of ascending importance: Know the right people, and 1. Be fun to be with. Last of all, my personal favorite: I learned stuff, and had stuff to think about, which is a pretty good afternoon of reading. Feb 22, Linda Robinson rated it it was amazing. I liked this book a lot. I started smiling on page 50 and am still smiling. Karbo combines self-aware criticism with fashion history, weaving her search for genuine Chanel original with Coco's own inventive quest for fashion premierdom.

Not sure about the life lessons stuff, but if you were raised in an orphanage, change your story with each telling, and proclaim yourself queen loudly and often, than Chanel has something to teach you. Dec 02, Saad rated it liked it.

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Gospel According to Coco Chanel

Why I read it: There were more parallels to Steve Jobs than I anticipated. She was shameless when it came to taking credit for innova Why I read it: She was shameless when it came to taking credit for innovations that belonged to someone else, but if anyone objected, they were never able to make their objections stick. Chanel chose every fabric herself. She would perfect the piece until she hated the sight of it, then it was on to the next. Oct 16, Cassie rated it it was ok Recommends it for: For the most part, I'm on board with Karbo's spin on Chanel.

Part biography, part guide to life and a smidge of self help, I can let myself believe that I'm just chic enough follow Chanel's "rules of engagement" while reading. What threw me was Karbo's section on femininity. Specifically, when she declares that any good relationship needs some irrationality. And not just your run-of-the-mill whacky misunderstandings--but plate-throwing, tear-inducing, dramatics-flying irrationality. Karbo even g For the most part, I'm on board with Karbo's spin on Chanel. Karbo even goes so far to say that men expect women to act in such a way and that to act like a rational, stable and dare I say mature partner causes men to act suspicious and shifty.

Embracing your idiosincracies is one thing--to act like a raging lunatic is another. And to suggest all females must act as such a lunatic in order to seem feminine is a whole other kettle of fish. While Chanel was a bold, outspoken, passionate woman, she was also the Mother Superior of simplicity in both her fashion and how she lived her life. I doubt that she would approve of such outlandish and complicated behavior and certainly wouldn't condone it as typical and expected of women everywhere.

One bad section isn't enough to ruin the rest of the book for me. Karbo uses Chanel's life and business as a model for the rest of us schlubs to emmulate. Taking advice from Coco on success, money, time, fashion, rivals and beauty can be helpful for those of us who need a little glamour in our day-to-day. Just skim over the femininity section and you'll be in the clear. Jan 12, Jill rated it liked it Shelves: Really a two and a half. Three stars for the biographical info on Chanel, two stars for the writing, evens out to two and a half stars. It was a fun little synergy, as passing references to Hemingway are made in this book and passing references to Chanel were made in both of the Hemingway-related books.

Read Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons From The World's Most Elegant Woman

I really liked learning about Chanel and some of the "life lessons" made sense, but too often the au Really a two and a half. I really liked learning about Chanel and some of the "life lessons" made sense, but too often the author seemed to be "reaching" to make her point. She occasionally repeated herself, telling the same anecdote or making the same point in different sections of the book.

And, as always, there were typos and mistakes that would have been caught by a copy editor or proofreader. It came off as very forced-sounding and a little silly. Loved Chelsey Maclaren's sp?

May 30, Autumn rated it did not like it. Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman" might be clearly organized into life lessons -- such as with a list -- or, at the very least, have a straightforward assessment of how Chanel became a style icon. This book is repetitive, poorly copy-edited and weakly written.

Yes, author Karen Karbo did talk about how Chanel's style differed from that of her contemporaries and the fabrics she favored. But she kept making the same points over and over, and did I mention it was poorly copy-edited and badly written? If you don't care about Karen Karbo, who maddeningly inserts herself throughout the story, don't read this book. The last chapter had style. Until Karbo took it too far, and I was reminded that this book wasn't worth my time.

Oct 02, Kara rated it it was amazing Shelves: I never cared much about Coco Chanel before. There were mixed reviews about the movie but I enjoyed learning the life of this creature of fashion. The other day, I stumbled across this book. After reading it I am completely enamored. Her story is compelling, her achievements great and what I like best about her is her persistence. She never once gave up.

She took it easy I never cared much about Coco Chanel before. She took it easy from time to time not necessarily out of will but more of circumstance.

Gospel According to Coco Chanel Quotes

Her course was set and she had such a strong sense of who she was the only thing I am left with is admiration. The author made the mystic of Coco Chanel come alive, this was a good read.


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Mar 16, Hunter Jones rated it it was amazing. S'il ya un culte de Chanel, je suis un disciple. Mme Karbo ne soit diappoint. Nov 09, Sara rated it liked it. I can't say much for the writing, but the story was interesting. I enjoyed reading about who Chanel was more than about the fashion though because one thing that would have really helped this book would be actual pictures of the clothes that were discussed!

Fun read you can put down and pick back up again weeks later like I did. May 23, Jana Kaplan rated it really liked it.


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  • I loved this book! It was witty, and I learned much about Coco Chanel which I did not know about before. It made me love her and her classic clothing collection more! I don't appreciate what has been done to her design house since her death, but this book does give some perspective of how designers must keep to the times to remain relevant.

    Life Lessons From The World’S Most Elegant Woman, 1st Edition

    An easy fun read, with light and colorful info on the iconic woman who shaped the fashion industry, who most love and wish to own a piece of her vintage designs. Definitely a read for anyone who is interested in fashion and history of fashion. Sep 17, Mary rated it it was ok.

    I wanted to love this book. It's part biography, part life lessons But I found that I was forcing myself to just get through it I would have given up, but I'm not the type to leave a book unfinished. First, the book is so poorly put together, as though no one bothered to actually organize it. Although Chanel's life story is quite interesting and the only reason it gets two stars , there is so much jumping around. It makes you dizzy. You're never quite sure when I wanted to love this book. You're never quite sure when in Chanel's life you're going to end up just a few paragraphs away By the middle of the book I couldn't help but think that perhaps the chronological biography should have been the first half, then the life lessons in the second half with the references to the biography.

    Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons From The World's Most Elegant Woman by Karen Karbo

    And it could also remove the many times Karbo repeats herself. Second, some of the "life lessons" just weren't something I'd ever recommend to take to heart. Chanel would lie and exaggerate about her past. Karbo actually recommends this as something to do. So Karbo's idea of elegance is to be unethical by lying? Perhaps in Chanel's day and age, this was "easier" for the less moral to do, but today it would be foolish given that anyone can simply Google your name and find out the facts, making you look like an idiot and your idea of elegance come crumbling down around you. So you have a shoddy past Everyone loves an underdog.

    There's the life lesson of how it's better to err on the side of being a "witch" forgive me for not using the cursing that Karbo unnecessarily peppers through the book. Chanel may have been self made and knew what she wanted, but let's be real - she wasn't a nice woman.

    There's a reason why she was lonely. I mean sure, if you have aspirations of being friendless and lonely at the end of your life as Karbo points out about Chanel, by all means take Karbo's advice on how Chanel was elegant in this manner and be that "witch. Karbo describes irrationality as pretty much a necessary component of femininity. I'm not talking about quirkiness, spontaneity, misunderstandings, etc. Oh no, I'm talking full blown "this woman is clearly out of her mind and needs to be institutionalized" irrationality. So basically now Karbo is encouraging you to be a witchy toddler throwing a temper tantrum.

    This isn't even getting into Karbo's CLEAR personal issues with Karl Lagerfeld which pops up here and there or the fact that she seems to just gloss over Chanel's involvement with a Nazi. Chanel obviously built herself an empire when fashion was seemingly a man's world and there are definitely aspects to her that are incredibly admirable. That doesn't mean everything about her was good or should be emulated. To clarify, Karbo wasn't at all implying you should emulate her being with a Nazi.

    But neither does she ever just come out and say that Chanel was flat out wrong sometimes. I understand the book was not meant to be a critique of Chanel's life or her decisions, but some of these life lessons could have been about how NOT to live your life e. Chanel can definitely be a life to learn from on how to be your own woman in a world that wants you to conform to certain standards.

    But I feel like Karbo missed a great opportunity to do just that and came across more like a fangirl instead. Oct 28, L. Although I think the fashion world is more ridiculous than most soap operas, I nonetheless do view certain designers as true artists. Coco Chanel may not have been Galliano-tastic or have the quirkiness of Gaultier, but she created a baseline of elegance that few designers have reached.

    She starts with Chanel's self-invention, moves through her coterie of lovers who were also early bankrollers , her connected colleagues Collette, Misia Sert, Jean Cocteau and her rivals including the men to whom she signed over much of the Chanel No. It's a chatty account, threaded through with Karbo's quest to acquire a genuine Chanel jacket. But without the clothes themselves, there would be no story.

    By creating body-skimming designs and putting women in trousers, Chanel not only changed silhouettes but also how women could move through the world; in her clothing, women could reach and do for themselves. Born in poverty and raised in an orphanage not that she told people that , she turned her beauty, ambition and stylistic vision into an international empire.

    Then she closed her business during World War II, shacked up with a much-younger Nazi propagandist and, after the affair ended, as a year-old not that she told people that returned to fashion. Clearly, not all her life lessons should be followed. Those that might be are broken out here in cute Bible-esque tips.