Leading taste

The influence of trendsetters on health tourism

Authored by: Jennifer Laing , Warwick Frost

The Routledge Handbook of Health Tourism

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138909830
eBook ISBN: 9781315693774
Adobe ISBN: 9781317437505


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Linking the fashion designer Coco Chanel to the growth in health tourism in the early twentieth century is not intuitively obvious. Yet she played her part in the popularity of various French health resorts, placing them firmly in the public eye and making them de rigueur for those of a certain social status. Chanel was a woman of prodigious energy and liked to walk, ride, ski and swim, unlike the languid elegance of many of her contemporaries. This required a wardrobe that allowed women to move, liberating them from corsets and giving them a new streamlined silhouette (Cosgrave, 2012). Being outdoors so much, it has also been said that Chanel made the suntan fashionable for upper-class women, although Segrave (2005: 4) argues that she was only ‘following an existing fad’. Her boutiques at Deauville and Biarritz became a showcase for her sportswear, which was ‘perfectly suited to the relaxed, outdoor activities of a beach resort’ (Cosgrave, 2012: 18).

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