In winter 1946, celebrated author Paul Morand met Coco Chanel in a hotel in St Moritz. Over several evenings, they indulged in long conversations, and, upon returning to his room, Morand would scrawl notes on their discussions and his immediate impressions. Years later, Morand once again unearthed his notebooks and was surprised at how vivid a picture his ‘scribbles’ had formed of the mercurial and famously reclusive Chanel. Written in Morand’s marvellous storyteller’s prose, The Allure of Chanel brings those profound and revealing conversations to life. This is the ‘story of Chanel’ as told by Chanel herself: not just a series of memories but also a life philosophy. Around this rebellious fashion icon, Paul Morand brings together illuminating portraits of her friends: Misia Sert, Erik Satie, Igor Stravinsky, Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Blaise Cendrars and Serge Lifar, among others. Elusive, at times volatile, at times extraordinarily charming, Chanel had always been a figure of mystery and reverence. Here, embellished with Karl Lagerfeld’s exquisite sketches, Chanel, her memories of her life, her ideologies, her extreme intelligence, her select circle of confidantes, are strikingly recreated; as if one were sitting beside her in that St Moritz hotel, sipping cocktails and hanging on her every word. A book in which almost every line offers a revelation—whether it be a highly original idea, an unmasked personal memory or an observation on the nature of existence, art, friendship, fear—The Allure of Chanel is a unique insight into Chanel’s superlative, restlessly creative mind.