Coco Chanel's story was not easy, as she went through ups and downs, recognition and disappointment, success and struggles. That may be one of the reasons why she has become a symbol in both the fashion world and history. What we know for sure is that Mademoiselle Coco was a true lover of great stories, many of which were closely connected to her own complicated life.
King & Queen
"I am a lioness, and hazard makes me get my claws out. But believe me, it is better to heal wounds rather than hurt others." Born on August 19, under the constellation of Leo, Coco Chanel was a great believer in horoscopes, and she wore lots of gold and topaz, as it was associated with her star sign. After the death of her lover Arthur Capel, she went to Venice, the coat of arms of which depicts a lion of St. Mark, and in the streets, there are numerous magnificent statues of the king of beasts. Visiting the Italian city restored the woman's peace of mind and helped her to move on and overcome the loss. The lion arrays the buttons of Chanel's legendary tweed suits and is also immortalised in her jewellery collections. In the famous Maison of rue Cambon, there were gilded figures of lions, one of which was always placed on her desk as a talisman for good luck.
The Magic of Five
Coco Chanel also believed in numerology and considered 5 to be her lucky number, especially since her zodiac sign - Leo - is the fifth to go in the circle. The legendary fragrance Chanel No. 5 was, therefore, named for a reason. It was ordered by a Royal perfumer with the request that "the perfume should smell like a woman." When several numbered vials were presented to her, Coco chose one without even touching it. The mysterious fragrance, a bouquet that consists of more than 80 ingredients, still remains one of the best-selling perfumes in the world. The number 5 continued to play an essential role in Chanel's life and work. For example, she had five favourite colours: black, white, red, gold, and beige. In her very first collection of jewellery, there were five themes: a star, a comet, a bow, a feather, and a spike. Even the classic Chanel bag has a name with 5 in it - 2.55, which indicates the date of its creation - February 1955. After such coincidences, it is hard to remain uninterested in the magic of numbers…
The Magic of Flowers
"The odorless flower is the only one that does not make one detracted from the fragrance of Chanel No.5," - that's how Coco Chanel explained her love for camellias. According to an ancient Greek legend, angry Aphrodite turned the cold beauties into these flowers because they had rejected Cupid. Therefore, the magnificent white buds have no smell, the same as the soulless girls lacked the heart. Chanel made this fragile flower her mascot, choosing exclusively white camellias. According to rumours, the first bouquet given to Coco by Duke of Westminster, with whom she had a beautiful affair, was made of these flowers. Later Chanel made these flowers eternal in her eponymous jewellery collection Camelia.
Did these symbols bring Chanel's worldwide success? More likely, it was her talent and diligence, but such personal talismans give faith in oneself, make any obstacles easier to overcome, and climbing peaks more adventurous.
Author: Nata Balaban
The Z&F project founder
Zodiac flower design