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"Up Close and Personal" with Coco Chanel was presented to capacity crowds as part of BOND’s Adventures In Learning series of educational experiences on May 31.  All proceeds from this event benefitted the Branching Out In New Directions (BOND) Scholarship Fund.

Chanel's combination of tradition, originality and style has always made it the most seductive of fashion labels.  Barbara Braman Bentson and Joyce Field inspired and tantalized members and guests with an array of the designer's central themes:  the suit, the camellia, jewelry, fragrance, handbags and "the little black dress."  

Joyce Field, Barbara Braman Bentson

Joyce took participants on a trip back in time from Coco Chanel's precarious beginnings as cafe' singer, to the millinery business, through World War II, on to 31 rue Cambon, Paris and ultimately, to the Hotel Ritz. Joyce's research followed the threads from past to present to show how key items have been rediscovered and reinvented by new designers working in the footsteps of their illustrious predecessors.  

Barbara's personal collection of elegant clothes, intricate accessories and timeless design visually enhanced and heightened the excitement, clearly allowing everyone in attendance a new understanding as to the lasting fame of the brand and the magic of the designer who invented the modern woman.

This article was written by BOND Co-Vice-President of Education Saralee Mogilner.  The photo is by Debby Shaffer, a professional photographer who recently became a BOND member.