Coco Gabriele Chanel (1883-1971)

They met at a dinner at Cecil Sorel’s house in 1917. Misia found sitting next to her a young, attractive woman who the world would get to know as Coco Chanel. At the time she had a small shop and was then becoming known for designing simple, innovative clothes for a modern woman.  Her problem was that she didn’t have an entre to Le Tout Paris but this was something that Misia could help her with and did. Coco became Misia’s new project.  When her lover Arthur Boy  Capel died in a car crash it was Misia who who raced to be at her side and was invited to join Misia and Sert on their honeymoon in Venice. Coco later said, “Without the Sert I would have been an imbecile”.  Misia introduced Coco to many artists and composers, one or two of whom, like Igor Stravinsky and Paul Reverdy who became her lovers. Misia’s introduction to Diaghilev resulted in Coco sponsoring as well as designing costumes for The Ballets Russes. Their relationship was often very tempestious but they remained each other’s closest female friends until Misia’s death.