Elegance and simplicity are words that perfectly describe Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel popularly known as Coco Chanel. At the tender age of 6, Gabrielle was given up to the orphanage by her father after her mother passed away.
She learnt how to sew at the orphanage under the tutelage of the nuns, at 18 she left the orphanage and took up a job at a bar where she sang to entertain guests. At that point in time she wanted to become a famous singer, destiny however had other plans for her. It was from her time as a singer she got the nick name Coco from a song she performed to soldiers.
She became the mistress of an ex military officer and moved in with him. During their relationship she was exposed to the lifestyle of the affluent and then began making hats to keep busy. This eventually became a commercial venture. Her relationship with the Military officer ended and Coco moved on to a wealthy english industrialist who she was deeply in love with. He supported her business.
Coco was a rebel, women’s fashion in France around the 1920’s was quite mechanical and exuberant. Women were clad in corsets, garters, whalebones, plackets, brassieres, frou frou petticoats and long tiered trains. Women overdressed, she on the other hand believed in simpler elegance as displayed in the cropped hair she sported at all times. This might have been due to her humble beginings. She started with her hats which became a hot trend amongst the affluent. She then proceeded to start designing clothes.
She cut and sewed with precision, paid close attention to her stitches and overall detail. She used jersey knit and tweed to create timeless pieces which changed the course of style forever. Coco introduced casual, comfortable elegance to the fashion industry in France and the World.
The aristocrats of that time adopted her taste in style quickly. She also drew a lot of inspiration from mens fashion and designed iconic skirt and trouser suits for women. She is also credited for the classic Little black Dress. Her style was conservative and avant garde for that time period!
Her style was elegant in a simple way. She focused on clean lines; used a lot of nautical themes and neutral colours. Gabrielle believed in style (good taste) rather than fashion! Style to her was timeless whilst fashion changes ever so often.
Simplicity, elegance and comfort were the key elements of her style…They continue to inspire my style today, less is always more with me. I love clean and neat designs and attention to detail! Would pick quality over a label every day!
Coco Chanel was not a shinny bling girl, she was a classy pearl girl who came from nothing….The essence of her style is unfortunately lost in todays world. Coco was simple, not flashy. she was all about excellence. This is one lady who’s style would continue to inspire generations to come… I cannot afford to comfortably spend money on her designs yet, but I’ll keep her as my style icon…x