After her mother’s death when she was eleven, Coco Chanel’s father dropped she and her two sisters off at the orphanage at the abbey at Aubazine in Corrèze, France. Chanel spent six years at the orphanage where leading a simple life where the future designer learned to sew. Much of Coco Chanel’s design lexicon is rooted in her time at the orphanage at Aubazine. From the double-C perhaps inspired by the design on the glass windows, the patterns she saw in the stone floors, the monastic color palette of black and white and the importance Chanel placed on fragrance, much of what we love about Coco Chanel’s brand and designs harken back to her sad days at Aubazine.
Since Coco Chanel spent many formative years there I thought it would be great to highlight it in a Flash Back Friday post and I hope one day to visit Aubazine Abbey myself. For a more in-depth look at the influence of Aubazine on Coco Chanel read Justin Picardie’s Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life.