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Accessorizing the BodyHabits of Being I$
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Cristina Giorcelli and Paula Rabinowitz

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816675784

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816675784.001.0001

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Coco, Zelda, Sara, Daisy, and Nicole

Coco, Zelda, Sara, Daisy, and Nicole

Accessories For New Ways of Being a Woman

Chapter:
(p.82) 6 Coco, Zelda, Sara, Daisy, and Nicole
Source:
Accessorizing the Body
Author(s):

Martha Banta

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816675784.003.0007

This chapter explores the accessories to personal existence introduced by Coco Chanel, borne out by the lives shared by Gerald and Sara Murphy, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and the events imbedded in The Great Gatsby and Tender Is the Night. It argues that the Chanel style was derived from the ability to negotiate her way in a world run by men; that a woman once dependent on financial support from various lovers had to escape the label of “kept woman”; and that the neat little hats, casual slacks, easy-going pullovers, gorgeously fake jewels, and entrancing perfumes were inspired by the life she had had to live as well as the one she chose for herself. The chapter is organized as follows. The first section outlines the historical and social circumstances that were the “givens” of Chanel’s generation. The second section deals with “The Chanel Woman,” the figure of independence she actively created by means of the styles she introduced into the social scene. The third section examines the inner essentials of that woman and the specific external accoutrements Chanel marketed with such élan.

Keywords:   Coco Chanel, Sara Murphy, Zelda Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Tender Is the Night, accessories, Chanel Woman

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