Il était une fois, Gabrielle Chanel… Once upon a time, Gabrielle Chanel…

Chanel… A name. A brand. An iconic logo.

Chanel… The little black dress. The tweed jacket. The fragrance.

In her private suite at the Ritz Hotel, Paris
Arriving at “the office,” 31 rue Cambon, Paris.

Chanel… Behind the legend, a woman. Gabrielle ChanelCocoMademoiselle.

Ambitious, opportunistic, strong-headed and outspoken. Mysterious, complex, rebellious, fiercely independent.

 Chanel… Loved life. Loved her work. In everything she did, sought perfection.

With her great love, Boy Capel

Chanel… To me, to many, an inspiration. To others, an opportunist with a shady past.

Mon petit, ne sortez jamais de chez vous, même pour cinq minutes, sans que votre mise soit parfaite, bas tirés et tout. C’est peut-être le jour où vous allez rencontrer l’homme de votre vie.”

“I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness.
And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”

How I love the carefully crafted quotes she left behind, creating her own legend, one line at a time.

Quotes about fashion and style…

“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably, and they remember the woman.” 
“Fashion changes, but style endures.” 
“A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” 

Inspirational quotes for women…

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” 

“You live but once; you might as well be amusing.” 

“If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.” 

“You can be gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty, and irresistible for the rest of your life.” 

Always, the inner-strength, the self-awareness, the incredible faith in her own destiny…
“I invented my life by taking for granted that everything I did not like would have an opposite, which I would like.” 
“I imposed black; it still going strong today, for black wipes out everything else around.” 
“Arrogance is in everything I do. It is in my gestures, the harshness of my voice, in the glow of my gaze, 
in my sinewy, tormented face.” 

Chanel, you amazing creature, you notorious pain-in-the-derrière. You paved the way for other unique, independent and successful women…

First there was Gabrielle Chanel… Then came… 
(Annie Leibovitz) 

Forty years after your death, they are still talking about you.

A young Chanel and her aunt in front of her first boutique,
Deauville, France (1913)
How they respect your name, your brand, the world over!

For Gabrielle Chanel, only the best would do. Mademoiselle may be long gone, but even today, whenever the Chanel brand is concerned, only the best will do. Illustration: I (and many of my countrymen,) will never forget the 1992 TV ad for Coco (the fragrance.) Shot by Jean-Paul Goude, with Vanessa Paradis (Singer, award-winning actress, model and French icon,) the short movie became an instant classic.

A bientôt.


Véronique - France with Véro
Véronique of France with Véro

Véronique of France with Véro

Vero shares her homeland weekly on social media with virtual tours, photo essays, live events and other publications at France with Vero. Learn more.

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