An Exterminating Angel

Coco Chanel, Myth and Fashion

Rhonda Garelick (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)


This paper looks at the relationship between Chanel’s so-called ‘revolution’ in fashion and her peak years of fame, between the Wars, and the relationship between these phenomena and the rise of fascism. I look especially at issues of modernism, the aesthetic of the fascist male body, homoeroticism, historical materials about what drew young men to join the Nazi Party, and changing gender and professional roles for women.