Page 199



clothes that were comfortable and stylish and that forged a new image of a sexy, but also independent, woman. Throughout its history, Chanel has integrated the idea of the independent woman with the sexy woman, undercutting the idea that women who are not dependent on men are masculine and unattractive, as well as the idea that women can have either love or a successful career, but not both. Chanel herself was known both as a dress designer and as a mistress to famous and wealthy men. When she was the mistress of the Russian Grand Duke Dmitri, he introduced her to a perfumer who was in the process of developing the perfume she later released as Chanel No. 5, having convinced him to give it to her. The initial advertising positioned this fragrance as “A very improper perfume for nicely brought-up ladies.” Legend has it that her nickname, Coco, was short for coquette— French for “kept woman.” In fact, her reputation as a visible mistress to wealthy and influential men may have enhanced the Lover image of her products. When asked why she refused to marry the Duke of Westminster, who was one of the richest men in Europe, she replied, “There have been several Duchesses of Westminster. There is only one Chanel.”1 The Cult of Beauty and Romance The Lover archetype also awakens people’s aesthetic appreciation. Suddenly beauty matters—whether it is a natural scene, the ambience of an elegant restaurant, or just the right pair of shoes. Similarly, the senses are heightened, and people take time to savor gourmet food, smell the lilacs, listen to a beautiful melody, and watch the sun go down. Venus, the Roman goddess of love, was believed to have arisen out of the ocean depths, born of the semen and sea foam. The Lover archetype is there in advertisements for airlines, hotels, and restaurants, ads that often pan out to show a gorgeous beach. You might remember the famous scene in From Here to Eternity that ends with a couple lying in the surf kissing as the waves roll in on them. There 1. Thaddeus Wawro, Radicals and Visionaries (Irvine, CA: Entrepreneur Press, 2000), pp. 94–95.

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype