|Coco Chanel, French couturier. Paris, 1937.
Image by Lipnitzki/Roger Viollet/Getty Images
By Viviana G.
Chanel open her own store in 1913, in a very particular moment of life. She started selling hats, but soon people wanted to buy all the clothes she wore.
She was a woman of style. Style that made of her one of the most influential designers of the world of fashion has known. Coco Chanel launched the 20th century style of dressing. She urged women to take off their corsets, cut their hair, shorten their skirts and wear her “poor girls” look of knit suits with silk blouses and ropes of pearls.
|Coco Chanel (Reclining) by Horst P. Horst, 1937|
“Fashion changes. Style remains”. were her words. But it wasn’t only what she invented for others to wear that make Chanel memorable, it was her personality, her individuality, the “it” that transcended one’s image, and separated her from the crowd. Her most casual gestures were often enough to launch a thousand trends.
She wanted to be a singer and use to entertain in her younger years; time where she met a lot of her men and people that influenced her later in life.
She invented sling-back shoes, she made sunbathing an “in” activity, she put women in pants, and so her legacy still continues today. She is credited for creating a distinctive signature “Perfume”, part of one’s style. It was not until the 20th century when Paris Couturier Coco Chanel launched her own perfume business to enhance her fashion image.
|1960s Chanel in her Atelier, fitting actress Romi Schneider.
.Image by Botti/Gamma-KeystoneVia getty Images.
“No elegance is possible without perfume”, she used to say. And so she worked with the superb perfumer Ernest Beaux, one of the most famous “noses” back then to create a perfume that would complement her simplicity of her clothes. Chanel No. 5, her reason for the name: “my couture collection is being presented on the fifth day of the fifth month, and number five has always been lucky for me”.
|1960 Chanel, carrying her 2.55 bag, attends the theater in Paris.
Image by AP Images.
In 1930’s, Elsa Schiaparelli the Paris based Italian fashion designer created a color called “shocking pink”, and later in 1937 a fragrance named simply Shocking, which was sold in female torso shaped bottle created by the Italian Artist Leonor Fini, and so did Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein in 1934 and 1940, respectively.
On January 10, 1971, newspapers all over the world announced on their front page the death of Mademoiselle Chanel. She died in the Hotel Ritz of Paris, France; place where she used to sleep. She never got married and did not like to be alone and her own private apartment was just near by the Hotel.
I can vividly close my eyes and remember her own private place, memories kept inside since I had the previlage to be there. I has not been touched since then. Only three rooms, with a touch of oriental feeling.
|1970 Chanel before her death.
Image by Forum/Rex USA.
|Photo of Audrey Tautou, who portrays Coco Chanel in “Coco avant Chanel”(2009).
With a snip of her scissors Chanel put an end to the 1900 fashion of frills and flounces. She did not applied to fashion rules, and not only did fashion undergo a stupendous change on her account, but a whole new way of thinking and feeling came into being, an entirely new conception of femininity, simplified and purified.
Above and beyond fashion, Chanel left a style: that of the modern woman, attached to balance and elegance, who changed fashion in the 20th century and who really ruled the world of fashion and still does. Bringing a simplicity and a practical way of dressing where women could dress themselves by themselves. A style and spirit that revolutionized and liberated women in the past from all constraint, from binding corsets, large petticoats and all the flounces of style of that time.
Chanel’s style and spirit made her the Queen of Paris and elegance in the inter-war years, a patron of Parisian Artistic and literary life. Despite her death, her fashion house remains the shine of Parisian Couture; and her shows always brings her numerous loyal customers, celebrities, editors.
|Chanel takes on the world in the Fall 2013 show at Paris’s Grand Palais.
Image by Dominique Charriau/ Wire image.
|1983 Karl Lagerfeld in his first year as designer for the house.
Image by Jacques Langevin/ AP Images.
|The World of Chanel: A page at a time.|
“Women are never elegant enough but always overdressed”. Chanel……Thank you Chanel! Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!
And these are my experiences that had and continues to shape my lifestyle!