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When Coco Chanel
loved Pau, the "city of horses"



Gabrielle Chanelarrived in Béarn in 1907 with her lover at the time,Etienne Balsanhorseback riding enthusiast. She then discovered "the city of the horse". She takes the horses to training at the Domaine de Sers, which gives her the idea of inventing another way of dressing, more practical for riding.
And don't some of his creations borrow from lads' jackets?

“At the beginning of the 20th century,Gabrielle Chanel, on vacation between Béarn and the Basque Country, learned horse riding, swimming and pelota.

The discovery of these sports will feed its ambition to liberate women through clothing "and shapes its future emblematic models such as the shirt dress or the marinière. 

Extract from the show: Arte June 2019

"Coco Chanel, the Basque years"

But before Biarritz, it is in Pau that the great seamstress has put down her suitcases.

Etienne Balsan, friend of the Viscount of Vaufreland 

Etienne Balsanis the youngest son of the wealthy manufacturer Auguste Balsan (1836-1896), mayor of Châteauroux and conservative deputy for Indre from 1871 to 1876, and Marie Dupuytrem. His older brother, the aeronaut and aviation pioneer Jacques Balsan, became in 1921 the second husband of Consuelo Vanderbilt, divorced from 9th Duke of Malborough.

cavalry officer,Etienne Balsangave up his military career to devote himself to breeding and racing horses. A polo player, he owns the domain of Royallieu (the castle was destroyed during the Second World War), in the Compiègne forest in the Oise department. In 1904, he acquired a building complex (house, stables and riding school) in Lacroix-Saint-Ouen.

In Moulins while serving in the 10th mounted chasseurs regiment stationed in this city, he noticed the young Gabrielle Chanel  who frequents, like the officers of this regiment, the Grand Café and La Rotonde.

He becomes her lover and her protector, and will remain her friend. In 1909, when "Mademoiselle" wanted to settle in Paris as a milliner, he lent her his bachelor apartment on the ground floor of 160 boulevard Malesherbes to make it his very first point of sale. Rich and seductive, he introduced her to Parisian society. He is, before becoming Coco's lover, that ofEmilienne d'Alencon ; he married on December 2, 1920 in Anglet withSusanne Bouchaud.

On Friday March 31, 1911, as part of a Pau-Paris raid, theCaptain Bellengerand theLieutenant Tricornot by Rose  on monoplanes Bleriot  arise in the area of Brassioux, commune of Déols, on land belonging toEtienne Balsan. The Captain Bellenger and theLieutenant Tricornot de Roseleave Brassioux the next day April 1, 1911 and take the direction of Paris.

This raid was filmed by Pathé Journal.

On December 5, 1921, he acquired a vast estate in Bayonne (Beyris district). He divided up part of the estate, creating housing estates and installing a polo field there. He founded, with theMarquis of Jaucourtand theCount of Zogheb, the Horse and Polo Society of Biarritz. 

Owner of the Château de Doumy, where he lived between 1923 and 1933, he was mayor of the commune of Doumy.
He also acquires the Abescat house, located in the neighboring village of Auga.

Text: Wikipedia

Boy Capel

Born in Brighton, Sussex, England,Boy Capelis the son ofArthur Joseph Capel,British shipping merchant, andBerthe Andrée A. E. Lorin, of French origin (1856-1902).

A horseman — he has a polo stable — and a business man, he built his fortune in coal freight, which allowed him to advance toCoco Chanelthe funds needed to launch its first boutiques, in Paris and then in Deauville. His blazers promptedChanelto incorporate a masculine touch into his clothing designs.

In 1918 he marriedDiana Wyndham, born Lister (7 May 1893-1983), daughter of Thomas Lister, 4e Baron Ribblesdale (en) and widow of cCaptain Percy Lyulph Wyndham(son of George Wyndhamethalf-brother ofHugh Grosvenor, 2e Duke of Westminster).

Despite everything, he met the woman of his life:Coco Chanel,with whom he will end his life and being madly in love. 

During World War I, he was the secret adviser to Clemenceau  and the eminence grise of the English government in terms of war purchases.

Capeldied in an automobile accident on December 22, 1919. He was buried with full military honors in the cathedral of Fréjus on December 24, 1919.

Text: Wikipedia

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