Because you’re never too young to brush up on your fashion  icons, Coco Chanel – Pearls, Perfume and the Little Black Dress is just the thing to introduce teens and tweens to the intractable couturière whose bold designs not only revolutionised womenswear but continue to set the agenda today.
Beginning with her harrowing childhood, Goldman Rubin charts Chanel’s  rags-to-riches story, from orphan to the maverick who dreamt up the LBD and debuted the form- freeing breton-stripe top and quilted jacket. Although aimed at a younger audience, this potted biography is no sugar-coating exercise and in fact paints an uncompromising, warts-and-all portrait of the (notoriously quick-tempered, not to mention openly anti-Semitic) woman behind the myth. Peppered with intimate fly-on-the-wall photographs, the pocket-sized monograph is this season’s must-read for young – and not so young – fashionistas.
Coco Chanel: Pearls, Perfume and the Little Black Dress, by Susan Goldman Rubin, List price £13.99, published by Abrams
From France Today magazine