Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel (1883-1971) distinguished her design aesthetic through a strict insistence on comfortable, lightweight garments and a pared-down silhouette. Chanel's interest in simplicity is seen in her earliest millinery designs from the 1910s, which relied on a single, dramatic embellishment for decoration rather than the "assemblage of materials" then in vogue.1 This interest in "less is more" also demonstrated itself in her earliest garment designs, ready-made suits and dresses often made from inexpensive wool jersey. These garments, almost the exact opposite of popular feminine fashions, launched Chanel's career. Throughout her career, Chanel adhered to the basic principle of crafting soft, lightweight fabrics into functional (yet luxurious) garments. Though Chanel produced a variety of garment types throughout her career, one that reappeared over and over was the suit. Borrowing from menswear, Chanel created a feminine suit which offered ease of movement and capitalized on the implication of power inherent in the masculine suit. The basic, stripped down silhouette remained consistent, but the textiles changed with the times. It became a classic and functions today as shorthand for the designer herself. Two-piece suitGabrielle ChanelSpring 1964Transfer from the Museum at FIT2004.291.24AB
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Gabrielle Chanel was born in 1883 in Saumur to a peasant mother who tragically died and pedlar father who abandoned her at a young age (Baudot 1996). Chanel's designs liberated women's fashion and she is seen as the inventor of sports fashion. Chanel's simplified designs appealed to women who wanted to look sporty as she…
Critical Analysis: Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel (1883-1971)
Coco Chanel is the Undisputed Grande Dame of Luxurious Fashion. The House of Chanel has ruled the Paris runways for almost 100 years. One of the 1st things I had to see in Paris was the famous House of Chanel on Rue Cambon. I went to “lick the windows” as the french say, because everything I saw was a feast to my eyes and made me feel like I was eating a delicious bowl of my favorite ice cream. You see, Coco Chanel and I go way way back. I fell in love with her style the first moment I laid eyes on her designs. I consider Coco Chanel the unheralded queen of feminine chic fashion. The House of Chanel, at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris is the epicenter of what I love – timeless, elegant fashion with a dramatic edge. For 9 decades the House of Chanel has created designs for the modern woman that beautify and symbolize the changes women have experienced socially and politically. Coco embodied girl power long before it was politically correct. Timeless Luxury & Modern Fashion Revolutionary – Coco Chanel Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel August 19, 1883 – January 10, 1971 A brief bio … Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel grew up in poverty in Saumur, Maine-et-Loire, France. Her mother died when she was 12 years old. Chanel and her 2 sisters were sent to live in an orphanage. At 18 she moved to a boarding home where she learned to sew. As a young adult she worked as a seamstress and tried to develop a singing career. It was through singing that she adopted the name Coco. She met a wealthy textile heir who became her lover and introduced her to his extravagant lifestyle. Eventually, her relationship with another lover provided financing for her 1st venture into fashion. Coco Chanel “Chapeau” Coco opened a millinery shop in 1912 and quickly gained a following with the fashionable elite of Paris. Her success allowed her to open her fashion house in 1921 which introduced the world to Coco’s vision of fashion for the modern women. What began as a small millinery shop overtime brought attention from aristocratic clients. With the help of her lover, business partner Coco’s House of Chanel became one of the most influential fashion brands in the world. Chanel was a design innovator for the modern woman of her time. Her design innovations offer a unique understanding of women and their desires for elegant and extravagant fashion. Coco’s relentless pursuits sometimes made her the subject controversy. Her personal relationships with German military officers during WW2 caused quite a scandal. It’s been reported Chanel used her influence with a love interest member of the Nazi party during the German invasion of France to gain advantages for her business during war times. Chanel has expanded her design empire beyond couture clothing to include a ready-to-wear line, jewelry, handbags, shoes, and of course perfume. When she died in 1971 her net worth was estimated at $19 billion, making Coco Chanel one of the richest women in the world. Here’s a look at iconic signature styles and modern interpretations of Madame Coco Chanel: Things to know about Coco Chanel and the fashion house she built: Coco Chanel was: The first designer to market a fragrance. Chanel No. 5 – Was created and owned by Pierre Wertheimer. It became the one of the most successful and popular fragrances in the world. Chanel No. 5 was so profitable that in a settlement after WW2 Wertheimer agreed to pay all of Coco’s living expenses—from the trivial to the large — for the rest of her life. Coco invented the “Little Back Dress”. It’s still considered a staple for every woman’s wardrobe even today. First to use jersey fabric for women’s dresses. Prior to Coco jersey was only used for undergarments, never clothing. First to create super chic costume jewelry Created the iconic quilted leather Chanel handbag with the chain shoulder strap Invented the Collarless Tweed Jacket for women Famous for ornate hand beading and embroidery on her haute couture garments. Created the Sailor Look – horizontal striped shirt, bell-bottom pants, crewneck sweaters, and espadrille shoes became fashion must haves when Chanel introduced them. Known for her signature Black & White Color Palette Suntans – Chanel was a sun worshipper and was known for wearing a suntan. She made suntanned skin an acceptable symbol of leisure and privilege within elite circles. Other Chanel style favorites: Pearls, Chains and Jewelry Pins Oh My! Shoes & Boots Handbags, Totes and Monogramed Purses Diamond Watches Feminine Details and Bias Cut dresses Trousers for women Leather Coats The attention to detail is amazing In the making of Chanel Spring 2016 Couture Line In the early 198o’s Karl Lagerfeld took over as principal designer of the House of Chanel. Lagerfeld also designs at the House of Fendi and his Lagerfeld Womenswear line. Karl Lagerfield is head designer for the Chanel brands Karl Lagerfield, a fashion icon in his own right, is the design principal at the House of Chanel. He is credited for reviving both the Ready-to-Wear line and the Haute Couture line. It’s been Karl’s design genius that makes the House of Chanel a coveted brand today. The video of the CHANEL Haute Couture Spring Show illustrates all the reasons why this design house has been one of my favorites for more than 20 years. I hope you have enjoyed this post about the undisputed grande dame of fashion, Coco Chanel. If you haven’t gotten your fill of the House of Chanel checkout the website Chanel.com. Until next time …
Style Icons: Why Coco Chanel Is The Undisputed Grande Dame Of
In 1931, The New Yorker wrote up a profile Coco Chanel, a designer couldn't draw and preferred not to sew. But her little black dress become iconic nonetheless.. In 1931, The New Yorker wrote up a profile Coco Chanel, a designer couldn't draw and preferred not to sew. But her little black dress become iconic nonetheless.
Here's How Coco Chanel Created The Little Black Dress
mintwiki / Chanel: Designs for the Modern Woman
1920s Fashion Animation