Coco Chanel, redefined and changed the face of women’s fashion. From her first millinery shop, opened in 1912, to the 1920’s, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel rose to become one of the premier fashion designers in Paris.
Coco Chanel gave the world the little black dress, Chanel No.5 perfume and a different way of looking at fashion and style.
There probably isn’t a woman I know that doesn’t have at least one little black dress in her wardrobe or closet.
Chanel No.5 is still one of the most sought after perfumes. It is considered the worlds most famous perfume. A perfume like nothing else. A woman’s perfume, with the scent of a woman.
She liberated women from wearing stiff corsets towards casual, practical and tailored clothing. By the 1920’s she had set a fashion trend with her chemise and the ‘boy look’. She borrowed fabrics as well as attitudes normally reserved for menswear. Her famous boxy, collarless jacket with matching skirt is her signature suit admired by women world-wide. Her simple, elegant, classic and comfortable designs began to change the way 20th century women dressed.
Quoted as saying that “simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance” Chanel made popular a chic style for the modern woman. She also was the inspiration behind adding pearls and costume jewelry to her suits and dresses.
“Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” Coco Chanel.
Chanel’s designs were unique, simple and understated for a reason, by mimimalizing her signature creations, she could experiment with adding accessories, such as bracelets, ear rings necklaces and rings.
Chanel is also renowned for the quilted leather pattern seen on handbags, purses and jackets topped with the company logo.
She was still working when she died in 1971, at the age of 87!
The legend, the image, lives on today under direction of designer and couturier Karl Lagerfeld who took over the reigns in 1983. He is responsible for the creative direction of the single most successful fashion company in the world. Incorporated into the House of Chanel are are now France’s five premier houses of traditional fashion artistry which include Lesage (specialist embroiderer), Desrues (costume jeweller), Massaro (shoemaker), Maison Michel (milliner), Goossens (goldsmith),
Lemarie (feather specialist) and Guillet (floral accessory specialist).
From humble beginnings of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel to the esteemed, luxurious and highly successful House of Chanel.
“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” Coco Chanel
In the film Coco before Chanel. Audrey Tautou played the young Coco. I loved this film!
“Coco before Chanel:” click to view the trailer of the film. http://youtu.be/o6Iun1RctbA
A tribute to a Lengendary Lady who changed the face of fashion – Coco Chanel
What is your favourite quote?
What do you associate with Coco Chanel?
Which ‘piece’ would you love to have hanging in your closet?
Do you possess a Chanel fashion item?
Acknowledgements: Getty, Keystone & Hulton archives
- Coco Chanel (pursesalamode.wordpress.com)
- Runway Retrospective: Chanel (fabsugar.com)
- Audrey Tautou as Coco Chanel (lyndseysweeney.wordpress.com)