Coco Chanel

Gabrielle Chasnel;Gabrielle Chanel

1883 (Saumur, France) – 1971 (Paris)

One of the most influential dress designers of the 20th C, Chanel brought a modernist look (classy uncluttered timeless practicality) to womens’ fashion. She mixed with a range of cultural notables, including Stravinsky (whom she helped, and may have had an affair with), Diaghilev (whom she designed for and who got her out of more than one financial hole), Lipchitz and Radiguet. Picasso, Moreau and Renoir were friends (she designed for Renoir’s masterpiece ‘La Règle du Jeu’), Dalí and Visconti guests. Reverdy was certainly among her lovers, though her own accounts of her life are notoriously free with the truth.