Fashion Plate

If you like Texas Jot, please take a look at my other blog, Fashion Plate. It is the home of my handmade retro Barbie clothes and lots of delicious recipes from my cookbooks.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Channeling Coco Chanel

There is a distinct possibility that I may have mentioned it before, but my appointed grandma name is Coco.  I have been reassured by TWO that it is due to my fashion proclivities, love of chocolate and all things French that she arrived at this appellation...rather than my disposition, political leanings and certainly not because of my love for costume jewelry. Diamonds are forever a girl's best friend.
Of course, there was complete family disgruntlement when ONLY gurgled my name, second only to the cat, Eddie.  Unfortunately, it sounded more like "cuckoo", for which I took severe ribbing.  In the manner of my predecessor Coco Chanel, I wrote off the entire episode to jealousy.  After a recent visit, ONLY referred to the rest of the family as "the cocos."  She realizes that I am a trend setter and have my own posse.
If you are a Francophile, history buff, fashion maven or just love to laugh, you need to lay your hands on a copy of The Gospel According to Coco Chanel by Karen Karbo.  In a dyslexic moment, I read the authors last name as in carob the nasty chocolate substitute and me the world's promoter of chocolate desserts.   I was about to write this book off without a mere glance, when I realized my error.  In actuality it was Karbo, as in carbohydrate, which sounded just dandy to me.  I bet she would gladly down a chocolate eclair with gusto. I plunged ahead and hit the BUY button on my Kindle. (Right here I need to say that you want a hard copy of this book, not the Kindle version.  They post all the footnotes at the end of the book and you loose all sense of continuity reading them after you've read the book.)
Now that you are holding your very own copy of The Gospel According to Coco Chanel, turn off your phone, shut down the computer, pour your favorite beverage and select a light snack (Chanel was very svelte.) and enjoy several hours getting acquainted with the woman behind the House of Chanel.  Coco's story is interspersed with bits of the author's adventures and life experiences which makes it current and historical at the same time.  This is not one of those nasty tell-all books, but doesn't shrink from the good, bad and ugly of Chanel's life.  It is written in a light, conversational tone; more like chatting with the author over coffee rather than reading someone's restructured dissertation.
I came away from this delicious tidbit of reading wishing I had paid more attention to Monsieur Hightower's French class in high school.  Sacre blue!  What was I thinking? The only time folks understood my French in Paris was when I had a charge card in my hand. (I guess money is the universal language.)  So, since I was sadly lacking in the linguistic department, I opted for savoir-faire, instead.  There is nothing like an entire rack of black dresses in one's closet to make one truly feel tres magnifique! If I could just give up the diamonds for a long string of pearls...

For those of you who will never forgive the French for anything...try Karen's new book about Kathryn Hepburn, How to Hepburn.  As an old movie buff, it is next on my list. Chic alors!!!

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