Who was Gabrielle Bonheur

Coco Chanel #

of Bianca Trebus; BG / BRG Pestalozzi, 7b; Supervision: Juschitz; 90 points;
Congratulations! This contribution is one of five that have been recognized as the best and therefore award winners

Coco Chanel was born on August 19th, 1883 under the name Gabrielle Bonheur Chasnel in Saumur Saumur, France in Auvergne. She was born out of wedlock and lived in poor conditions. After her mother died when Coco was only 12 years old, custody fell to the father, who gave Coco and her sister the care of an orphanage.

When Coco Chanel was released from the orphanage at the age of 16, she had to work in order to live. She found a job as a seamstress and through this work her passion for creating fashion grew. At the age of 20 she worked in a baby goods and trousseau store and made some extra money doing tailoring. Another source of income for Coco Chanel was performing as a singer and dancer in Parisian nightclubs Paris, France. It is in these night clubs that the world-famous nickname Coco was born. This can be traced back to two songs with which Coco inspired her audience: "Ko-Ko-Ri-Ko" and "Qui qu’a vu Coco?". In one of these nightclubs she met Etienne Balsan, with whom she later fell in love. Etienne Balsan encouraged Coco to start her own business. Thanks to his financial support, she was able to open her own hat salon in 1910 at the age of just 27, called “Chanel Modes”, which was located at 21 Rue Cambon in Paris and made her entry into the fashion world possible. Coco was not only very skilled as a fashion designer but also as a businesswoman.

The actress Gabrielle Dorziat wears one of the first hats from Chanel. Photo: Talbot 1912, first published in Les Mode 137, p. 8
From Wikicommons
When the actress Gabrielle Dorziat wore a simple straw hat from Coco Chanel on stage, she became really famous. At that time women wore large, bulky hats; the new creations by Coco, which were characterized by simplicity, were considered an absolute novelty. Not only her designed hats, but also the clothes she wore were plain. Soon she was designing clothes for the elegant Parisian society and so they developed into a luxury product. In 1913 she opened a hat and accessories boutique in Deauville Deauville, France and hired two employees. After Coco Chanel had noticed that women even wore large hats on the beach and did not take off their tightly tied corsets, she designed the so-called “sporty fashion” for her friends and herself, which of course attracted attention everywhere. Coco Chanel became more and more famous.

In 1918 Coco Chanel designed pajamas for women for the first time, another novelty, because pajamas were then reserved for men. Coco Chanel's creations were revolutionary. There was no longer a corset, the lady had freedom of movement and the materials were comfortable to wear. She was the first designer to use a fabric that until then had only been used for men's underwear, jersey.

In 1920 Coco met the perfume creator Ernst Beaux in Grasse Grasse, France. She was fascinated by his idea of ​​developing a new perfume, which not only consisted of the scent of a flower. Ernst Beaux gave her various bottles to choose from and Coco decided on No. 5. The bottle was simple with smooth sides and without decorations, just like the bottles for men's fragrances at that time. Perfume No. 5 was launched in 1921 and was the first perfume to contain high concentrations of aldehydes. With this perfume, Coco Chanel achieved the big breakthrough. The success of the perfume was so great that the demand for it could soon no longer be satisfied by manual production. The businesswoman Coco Chanel negotiated a contract with Pierre and Paul Wertheimer, because they owned the Bourjois company. The contract was signed in 1924. That was the beginning of the company Parfums Chanel. She took over the distribution of the No. 5 perfume all over the world.

In 1926 Coco Chanel designed one of her most famous creations, the "little black dress". When Audrey Hepburn wore the "little black dress" in the movie "Breakfast at Tiffanys", the dress became a "must-have" in every woman's wardrobe.

Coco Chanel's career peaked in the early 1930s, her fame was immeasurable. Your haute couture house had 5 buildings and over 4000 employees. At the time, Coco made headlines not only because of her fashion, but also because of the rumor that she sympathized with National Socialists. She was also said to have made friends with some high-ranking German officers. In 1939 she closed her boutiques and retired from business life. She used this break to design a new collection. Uniforms like those worn in World War II served as her inspiration. This is how the style for which the Chanel brand is still known today, the costume, was born. The costumes, made of tweed fabric with patch pockets, were another novelty as it was the first time women had worn two-piece suits. In 1954 Coco Chanel returned to business and her wartime collections were produced.

She reopens the boutique on rue Cambon rue Cambon, Paris and has been selling her new collections. These were not immediately accepted successfully, but Coco Chanel did not give up. She continued to adhere to her concept of simplicity and was in contrast to the designer Christian Dior, who designed wide skirts with many layers. Coco Chanel had the greatest success after her comeback in the USA. Americans loved their style. In 1969 Coco Chanel's life was processed in a Broadway musical. Coco Chanel worked actively into old age, until she finally died on January 10, 1971 at the age of 87 in Paris while preparing a new collection.

French version, also by Bianca Trebus 7b #

Coco Chanel est née le 19/08/1883 avec le nom de Gabrielle Bonheur Chasnel en Saumur (Auvergne). Elle était un enfant naturel et elle vivait dans des conditions misérables. Quand sa mère est morte, Coco avait seulement 12 ans et le droit de garde des enfants allait à son père. Son père donnait elle et sa sœur dans l’orphelinat.

Quand Coco avait 16 ans, elle a quitté l’orphelinat, et devait travailler pour pouvoir vivre. Elle travaillait en tant que couturière et comme ca sa passion pour la mode augmentait. A l’âge de vingt ans elle travaillait au magasin pour articles pour bébés. Pour avoir plus de argent, elle faisait les travaux d’un coupeur. Une autre source de revenus étaient les apparitions en tant que chanteuse et danseuse dans les boîtes de nuit parisiennes. Dans ces boîtes de nuit s’est construit le nom de Coco parce qu’elle chantait deux chansons. Les chansons étaient "Ko-Ko-Ri-Ko" et "Qui qu’a vu Coco? ». Grâce au soutien financier d’Etienne Balsan, Coco pouvait ouvrir son première magasin à l’âge de vingt-sept ans en 1910. Le nom du magasin était “Canel Modes” et était dans la Rue Cambon 21 in Paris. Elle n’était pas seulement une couturière magnifique mais aussi une femme d’affaires excellent. The creation of Coco étaient modestes et se développaient en un produit de luxe.

En 1930 elle pouvait ouvrir un autre magasin à Deauville et elle avait deux employés. Comme Coco a remarqué que les femmes portaient leur corset aussi à la plage, il se dressait pour elle et leurs amies la soi-disante “mode sportive”. Coco Chanel devenait plus celebre. La mode de Coco Chanel était révolutionnaire et confortable, elle utilisait une étoffe qui s’appelait Jersey. In 1920 elle faisait la connaissance d’un creator of perfumes à Grasse. Le créateur avait le nom d'Ernst Beaux et il voulait développer un parfum qui a l’odeur de plus de fleurs. Coco Chanel était fascinée de son idée. Ernst Beaux donnait une sélection de différents flacons et Coco choisissait le flacon qui avait le number 5. Le flacon était simple et modeste avec aucune décoration. Il faisait l’effet d’un flacon pour les hommes. Avec ce parfum Coco Chanel réussissait le percement. Bientôt le parfum était popular Coco Chanel devait faire un accord with la firme de Pierre et Paul Wertheimer pour produire le parfum dans la firme Boujours. L’autre nome était “Chanel Parfum”. En 1926 Coco Chanel faisait sa création plus populaire, “le petit noir”. Quand Audrey Hepburn portrayed “le petit noir” in the film “Breakfast at Tiffanys”, la robe devenait and a “must-have” à la garde robe de chaque femme.

Le point culminant de sa carrière était au commencement des 30 années, sa gloire était immense. Elle avait 5 maisons et plus de 4000 employés. Elle faisait les manchettes pas seulement avec sa mode, mais aussi avec la rumeur, elle sympathisait avec les national-socialistes. Le couvait rumeur que Coco était liée avec quelques officiers allemands de haut niveau. En 1939 elle fermait ses boutiques et se retirait de la vie commerciale. Elle utilisait cette pause pour dresser une nouvelle collection. Les uniformes, que le gens portaient pendant la seconde guerre mondiale, étaient son inspiration. Grâce à cela il survenait le style pour la marque Chanel qui est connu encore aujourd’hui, le costume. In 1954 the return to the vie commerciale et Coco produisait the collections, qu’elles avait dressées pendant la seconde guerre mondiale. Elle avait le plus grand succès aux Etats-Unis. C’était aussi une comédie musicale au Broadway sur sa vie (1969). Coco Chanel travaillait jusqu’à ce qu’elle fût très vieille et elle mourait le 10/01/1971 avec 87 ans à Paris pendant les preparations pour une nouvelle collection.


Research #

  • Source 1: Chanel. In: Brockhaus Encyclopedia in 30 volumes. 21st edition, F.A. Brockhaus Leipzig, Mannheim 2006. p. 451.


  • Source 3: Charles-Roux, Edmonde: Coco Chanel: One Life. Taschenbuch Verlag Fischer, Berlin 2011.

  • Source 4: Vaughna, Hal; Jendricke, Bernhard: Schermer-Rauwolf, Gerlinde; White, Robert A .: Coco Chanel - The Black Angel: A life as a Nazi agent. Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg 2011.

I think it's very nice that a French version has also been added! Congratulations!

- Hohmann Hasso, Saturday, May 18, 2013, 10:47 am


Wow! German and French!

- Unknown, Monday, June 24, 2013, 2:51 pm