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New Biography Shows a Different Side of Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel has shaped fashion as much as any other designer and though it has been forty years since her death she remains one of the central characters in the story line of modern fashion, continuing to inspire designers like Karl Lagerfeld and draw the fascination of fashonistas worldwide. Numerous films and books have told and retold her life story for the past half century, with some of the most recent, like the film Coco before Chanel, having been released in the last few years. Now another retelling of Coco’s story is set to hit shelves and this one promises to touch on parts of the tale that no one has heard before.

According to reports from Women’s Wear Daily a new book entitled Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life contains details that have been left out of any other autobiography until this point. Some of these details include Coco’s apparently open attitude towards bisexuality, including lesbian affairs, as well as her secret struggle against a growing opiate habit. Biographer Lisa Chaney drew on newly discovered personal correspondence, including Coco’s own love letters to help piece together this new and unique look at a fashion icon.

It has often been said that Coco Chanel’s designs were for the more liberated and forward thinking women of her generation and so these new risque behaviors and (for their time) radical beliefs that Ms. Chaney’s book brings to light may not be to hard to imagine.  The book also adds new detail to one of the darkest periods of Coco’s life, the time during the second world war where she was accused by many of collaborating with the German occupation. According to Ms. Cheney Coco was dating a man at that time by the name Gunther von Dincklage who was quiet probably a Nazi spy. Though Cheney has not been able to prove that Coco was ever aware of this.

Whatever your feelings regarding Coco Chanel it will be surprising if this biography doesn’t stir renewed debate about the life and times of fashion’s most famous woman.

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