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CoCo Chanel

[ 0 ] July 22, 2015 |

Who is my favorite fashion designer? Hands down, gotta be CoCo Chanel. A true rags to riches story; pun intended. She is my idol. Her individualism, the way she dared to be different and the way she followed her own vision no matter what anyone thought of her made her a fashion icon. She influenced and changed women’s fashion forever. CoCo put women in real clothes, comfortable clothes, practical clothes. These clothes reflected her tomboy, athletic lifestyle that perhaps came from growing up in an orphanage. No more subservient, doll baby clothes and corsets. Her silhouettes showed off the curves of the female body, revealed our sexuality and demonstrated our strength and power. Long after her death, you can still recognize her classic designs in women’s apparel today. There’s the Chanel cardigan suit jacket with its loosely woven tweed fibers and piping, the wide leg pant, the use of knit fabrics, the pocketbook with straps and the ever-loved, sent from heaven, little black dress. And to think, she started out designing hats. Amazing.

Coco Chanel was born in France as Gabriel Bonheur Chanel. Her political views and lifestyle were controversial. She lived life true to herself. Her famous fragrance, Chanel #5, reportedly made her the richest woman in the world at the time. A reflection of war, hard economic times and perhaps her lifestyle, her empire had ups and downs. In the 1940’s her factory that had once employed 4000 women shut down. She disappeared from the fashion industry in the for 15 years. At that time, male designers such as Christian Dior took over the women’s fashion market. During the mid 1950’s, in her seventies, she made a comeback. The French market rejected her, most likely due to her reputation as a nazi lover. But the American and British markets loved her designs and she rose to fame once again. Coco Chanel died at the age of 87 in 1971.

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Category: Beauty & Fashion

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