Wise Women Friday: Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel in her early years.Image via Wikipedia

Words of wisdom from Coco Chanel (1883-1971), the brilliant French fashion designer:

Youth is something very new:
twenty years ago no one mentioned it.

My dear Coco, times have changed. Twenty years ago everyone did talk about youth. I remember because I was young then and everything revolved around me. Twenty years ago I was 24, newly married, and just starting graduate school. Like all the other 24 year olds I knew, I knew that I was on my way to ruling the world.

Hmmmm. I'm not exactly sure what happened there. I may have taken the wrong freeway, which is always a possibility in LA, especially for the directionally-challenged, of which I am.

Coco Chanel, however, did rule the world, or at least her little part of it. Did you know she was a poor foundling who grew up in an orphanage? I read it in Kenneth Turan's review of the new biopic about Chanel, Coco, starring that adorable Audrey Tautou, who seems to have taken the right freeway, but maybe there are fewer of them in France.
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Desiree said...

Your post is SO "au courant",
in English, with it!
Nice one, comme d'habitude
(as usual)

Margaret said...

I should tell that I am afraid of French. It seems so unpronounceable. Now Italian and Spanish: those are welcoming languages.

Joanne said...

Ah youth! Don't the years fly by? What matters is that we're always young at heart :)

Margaret said...

Well said, Joanne. I swear I only feel 43.

Kate said...

Oh yes - youth is definitely wasted on the young. 40 years passes in the blink of an eye in my experience! I guess the challenge is to learn from that and spend the next 40 years productively. Hmmmm!

Susan C said...

I never appreciated my youth, so I'm trying to enjoy my current age. One day it will seem young.

My favorite fashion advice comes from Coco: "“Before leaving the house, a lady should stop, look in the mirror, and remove one piece of jewelry."

I'm looking forward to seeing the movie.

Petrea said...

I'm looking forward to the movie, too. And that Audrey Tatou, elle est jeune, n'est-ce pas?

Italo said...

Nice post, it's nice remember these great people, because YOUNG people don't know even who is.
CIao Margaret, have a nice week end.
PS: Coco chanel is the woman who invented the coco tree, isn't she?

Italo said...

Nice post, it's nice remember these great people, because YOUNG people don't know even who is.
CIao Margaret, have a nice week end.
PS: Coco chanel is the woman who invented the coco tree, isn't she?

Shell Sherree said...

I'd like to take this opportunity to gripe about how the word "Ma-am" instantly adds ten pounds and twenty years to one's countenance. Blech. Regardless of that, however, I'm looking forward to checking out the movie. Paris scenery plus Audrey Tautou = a charming combination!

... daisy... said...

20 years ago I was 14. Life was starting... love was starting... I thought a 34 year-old was a middle aged woman... so... how things and perspectives can change! ;-)))
I love Audrey Tautou... I loved her in Amelie (which is the movie all of my friends relate to me... and I must say I am pretty proud about it!) :-)
PS: thanks about the compliment about Italian... :-)

gaelikaa said...

You know I'll always be a great fan of the Chanel suit. That cute little jacket and skirt ensemble which saw me through my years as a secretary. I could only afford imitation unfortunately but so what? In the words of another wise woman, Hilary C, 'fake it till you make it!' Well, I didn't really reach the top of the secretarial professon, I ditched it to become a SAHM and would be writer, but working as a pa was fun sometimes, and experience of life is useful for writing. Hey, Margaret, it's goddess time in India right now, and my latest post in gaelikaasdiary.blogspot.com is covering that in a way. I know you visited me today (thank you very much!) but if you get a minute...lol :)

Laurie said...

You mean I'm never going to rule the world? What?

20 years ago I was 25, convinced that turning 30 was like slamming a door on all possibility. Can you imagine? 30? Old? I want to go back and slap myself for that. When I'm 60, no doubt, I'll want to slap myself for thinking 45 is old.

altadenahiker said...

You and Shell made me laugh. (No Italo, silly boy, she invented coco butter.)

Jean Spitzer said...

Being a member of the baby boomer generation at least assures me that whatever age I am, that age will be of interest to people selling stuff.

Even if I can't pronounce French, I adore listening to it. Sounds like another fashion-related movie to see (i just saw The September Issue).

Margaret said...

Kate: I'm with you. Good point.

Susan: I do have to say that I am more conscious about taking care of myself and being kind to myself than when I was younger. THat's a good thing.

Petrea: Ack! More French.

Italo: Are you showing off your youth?

Shell: Here, I think people have figured out how horrible ma'am sounds so in the grocery store no matter how old you are you are now known as "Miss."

Daisy: Lucky you to be compared to Amelie. I love that movie.

Gaelikaa: I'm on my way over. Thanks for the update.

Laurie: Now I remember why I like you. You are so darn smart.

Margaret said...

AH: You're both wrong. She invented Coco Puffs.

Jean: You Baby Boomers. It's always about you, isn't it? :)

Debbie said...

Thanks for your comments about blogging and your encouragement. I think maybe I will take your suggestion and nominate myself! :-)

Anonymous said...

Funny, your 24 and my 24 were so different. I never expected to rule the world. My goal was to make sure I rose above "greeter" at Wall Mart (in french or english).

Chanel; reminds me of my grandmother's favorite dress shoes. A simple patent leather pump with a kind of saddle shoe markings in reverse.

Margaret said...

PA: And now you are an accomplished and respected artist. Pretty impressive.