In our Quirky Corner this week we spotlight two very different style stars who continue to fascinate audiences worldwide.

There are many leading ladies in fashion, not all of them actual women, I dare say. The iconic Birkin bag is named after English actress and singer Jane Birkin whose trademark tomboy style has a large following. Luxury brand Hermès supposedly created the bag in 1984 especially for Jane after she’d told their CEO that the perfect weekend bag was impossible to find. The exclusive handmade purse with the hefty price tag then quickly achieved legendary status. A star was born! In Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World’s Most Coveted Handbag, Michael Tonello tells all about his roller-coaster quest for the holy grail of handbags, and spills the beans on how he became an extremely successful eBay entrepreneur.

French designer and self-made woman Coco Chanel was the only fashion icon to be named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century. With good reason. Mademoiselle Chanel revolutionized women’s fashion by designing clothes suitable for an active lifestyle and introducing silhouettes and fabrics that were far less restrictive than those of the previous decades. In The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World’s Most Elegant Woman, Karen Karbo distills Coco’s life experience and personal philosophy into a how-to guide for modern day survival and success.

Duo Giveaway

Globe Pequot Press and skirt! Books have kindly offered to give away five Karen Karbo bundles that each contain a copy of The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World’s Most Elegant Woman, and How Georgia Became O’Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living. This final instalment in the author’s “kick-ass women” trilogy features influential artist Georgia O’Keeffe, famous for her large floral paintings and New Mexico inspired works.

Visit our Competitions section for a chance to win one of the five book bundles. In the meantime let us know in the comments if there is a grande dame that has particularly inspired you over the years.