The Duchess Digest: Desperately Seeking Chanel

tatouThe world can keep its Star Trek, Wolverine and Terminator prequels, sequels and trailers. All the special effects and story lines of this summer’s blockbusters don’t interest me half as much as the highly anticipated movie event of my summer. I am of course talking about the US release of the French film, Coco avant Chanel (Coco before Chanel).

For my money it doesn’t get any better then Ms. Chanel. Unless of course it’s my absolute favorite actress, Audrey Tautau, playing Chanel. This movie has me captivated from just watching the trailer alone. I am awaiting Coco’s move being released the same way I anxiously anticipated Santa bringing me a pony every year at Christmas (only hopefully with better results – I never did get a pony).

So just what is it about this woman that fascinates me? Aside from the fashion, it’s her story and determination that inspire me. She came from very humble origins (being raised in an orphanage) yet created one of the most iconic fashion empires of our century. She was a determined and intelligent businesswoman. When her first shop failed and authorities threatened to seize all her property and inventory, she didn’t give up (thank God, or the face of fashion as we know it would not be what it is) but picked herself up and became even more resolved to succeed. She stuck to her guns and her own ideas about what was fashionable. She never minded totally going against the status quo of the day if that was her vision.

I think this is something we can all learn and apply to our lives as women. Speaking and living your truth, no matter what external conditions exist in your life or what the norms of your society may be, is the only way to live. It’s the way Coco lived and I truly believe it is the women who stand up and live their lives honestly, unapologetic for what their differing views may look like, who are the trailblazers and catalysts for change and new thought. Each one of us has access to that kind of authenticity. To mean our yes’s and stand firm, enforcing our no’s. To speak our own truth. To live in the manner that feels intuitively right for ourselves.

Those are the ways of Coco and those are the traits I wish to develop in myself and nurture in the women I coach. May you always reign as Supreme Duchess of your own life.

–Jill Brown

Jill Brown is a Los Angeles, California-based life coach and writer. She earned her Bachelors in Humanities and Sociology from USU and is a member of the National Association for Conflict Resolution and the Ladies Who Launch Network. She is the founder of “The Duchess Guide” a website dedicated to helping women become their most fabulous and unique selves. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, traveler and health nut. When she isn’t writing or working on Duchess, Jill loves spending all her free time with her Labrador – Betty. For more on The Duchess Guide or Jill visit: