***Now the subject of a major sell-out exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum***
She revolutionized how women looked. She banned corsets, shortened skirts and scented the world with Chanel No.5. Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel was an icon. But how closely did her carefully moulded image match the truth?
Born illegitimate and raised in an orphanage - not by the two aunts that she invented - Gabrielle Chanel fought constantly to escape the mundane. She rose from back-street milliner to become the head of a vast business empire, and socialised with Picasso, Stravinsky and Cocteau. Edmonde Charles-Roux also reveals one of Chanel's best-kept secrets - her love affair with a prodigal German spy.
Chanel's legend did not fade with her death, and nor has the mark of sheer elegance that she left upon the world of fashion. This is the living woman behind the vibrant legend.