Coco Chanel: The Pioneer of Modern Elegance with Estela Mendes

Coco Chanel: The Pioneer of Modern Elegance with Estela Mendes


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Today, Chanel is synonymous with luxury and elegance. It is hard to imagine the poverty Gabrielle Chanel came from. If there is a story of a self-made woman, this is one. From an orphanage to the Ritz in Paris, Gabrielle paved her way for a better life. Her willingness to survive in a world ruled by rich men led her to look for talent within her. From singer in a cafe to a milliner, Gabrielle Chanel paved her way to becoming one of the most important names in fashion history. This conversation is about the story of a polemic woman who understood and transformed the world around her.

At the turn of the century, there were very few opportunities for a poor young woman to change her condition. Aspirations were few and marrying a wealthy man, or at least being his mistress would be the best outcome. But Gabrielle Chanel wanted more for herself: an independent life. Not knowing how she was going to “make it”, she knew she had to. She soon learned how to use men instead of being used by men. We’ll learn that it was through their social network and financial investment that Gabrielle Chanel created her business. From milliner to “fashion designer”, this woman became an extraordinary entrepreneur, understanding her customer and the world that surrounded her.

We’ll discuss how by investing in her skills as a dressmaker and her unique aesthetic sense, Coco Chanel created a new fashion. Using new materials and understanding the new dynamic of women’s lives in the first half of the 20th century, Chanel created clothes and accessories that we still use today. Her personal life is so rich that everyone who was someone in the first half of the twentieth century is part of her story. From friendships and collaborations with the most famous artists to love affairs with important men, and betrayal of her country during Nazi occupation. This is the story of a complex woman in a complex world.

The Chanel that came from poverty became the one who dictated the rules of elegance to the rich. Coco Chanel redefined the concept of elegance for the Modern World and became the ultimate word in luxury. This conversation will leave you wanting to know more about the formidable character that was Gabrielle Chanel.

Estela Mendes is a Portuguese art historian, with a master’s in museum studies. She has worked in both Portugal and the UK, leading tours for more than 15 years both in education departments in museums and with tourist groups.

Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content)

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
88%
(7)
13%
(1)
0%
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S
S.D.G.
S
S.H.
Fun, in depth coco chanel
L
L.b.
Informative Interesting Fashionable
S
S.S.
Total package - great presenter plus fascinating content
B
B.
Super class and fantastic instructor!

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
88%
(7)
13%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
S
S.D.G.
S
S.H.
Fun, in depth coco chanel
L
L.b.
Informative Interesting Fashionable
S
S.S.
Total package - great presenter plus fascinating content
B
B.
Super class and fantastic instructor!