The Improbable Return of Coco Chanel: As Witnessed by Her Assistant, Richard Parker
In the early 1950s, Parker was a young Army veteran in search of a job when he began working for Tom Lee Ltd., a design company in New York City. He didn't realize, when he took the job, that he would soon become the assistant to the legendary Coco Chanel. Parker found himself working on a perfume showroom project that would ultimately help rebuild Chanel's reputation in the fashion world after World War II. While Parker provides an interesting take on a turning point in Chanel's life, and he clearly respects and admires her greatly, readers looking for an in-depth, intimate portrait of the designer will be disappointed. There are no juicy revelations here. Parker's account of Chanel's life is also somewhat repetitive, and he places his subject on such a high pedestal that it will be difficult for readers to truly understand and relate to the fashion icon.