Barkby & Beeby W.I.

Our meeting began with an announcement that our skittle team beat the Charnwood Wigs 3 – 0, well done girls!
The main business of the evening was The Life & Times of Coco Chanel by Julie Ede. Coco Chanel’s name was actually Gabrielle but she gained the nick name of Coco due to a popular song that she sang.
Although she became well known in society, and even royal circles, her start in life was very poor. She was born in the workhouse to an unmarried mother, who already had a toddler. She married Gabrielle’s father but she died when Gabrielle was eleven-years-old and her father put her in an orphanage. It was here that some of her ideas were born, the orphanage was run by nuns dressed in black habits with white collars and cuffs and she used this as a base for many of her designs. 
Coco buried her past and made a life for herself amongst the rich and famous, taking many lovers along the way, one of them was Ernest Beaux, a perfumier who created the now famous Chanel No. 5 which was named by Coco.
She had several boutiques and designed outfits for three films in Hollywood earning herself a million dollars. She made wearing long strings of pearls fashionable and also designed diamond jewellery. During the war she mixed with German officers and American soldiers alike to the extent that it was queried whether she was a double agent. She packed a lot into her life, a ruthless business woman, she was a great success in the fashion world and very popular with the men. This was an interesting talk, very well delivered, followed by tea and cakes it made for a lovely evening.
Pat Glover