Thursday, October 11, 2007

CoCo Chanel..Blog #2

"Coco"Chanel, or Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel was one of the most influential French fashion designers of the 20th century. Her modernist philosophy, menswear-inspired fashions, and pursuit of expensive simplicity made her clothing not only brilliant but beautiful. She was born August 19, 1883 the second daughter of traveling salesman Albert Chanel and Jeanne Devolle in the small city of Saumur, France.

"Coco Chanel rose to become one of the premier fashion designers in Paris, France. Replacing the corset with comfort and casual elegance, her fashion themes included simple suits and dresses, women's trousers, costume jewelry, perfume and textiles. By the 1920s, her fashion house had expanded considerably, and her chemise set a fashion trend with its "little boy" look. Her relaxed fashions, short skirts, and casual look were in sharp contrast to the corset fashions popular in the previous decades. Chanel herself dressed in mannish clothes, and adapted these more comfortable fashions which other women also found liberating."

Coco Chanel may not have marched to make it possible for women to vote, or was a major contributor to women's liberation during the World Wars, but this women took women's rights to a different level and the only way she knew how. Coco Chanel freed women from binding and restricted clothing which set women as objects and not strong assets with knowledgeable contributions. Coco took average clothing and made it superb. She allowed women to take on a "boyish look" and to finally have room in their clothing to breath and move. Although in later years she was exiled to Sweden because of a well know affair with a Nazi officer, when the fashions began changing again and the women became bound in discomfort she made her return again to free the women of her generation. She was also looked down upon for her own style of dress, drinking, and smoking. Chanel was a strong believer that she could do as she pleased. And she fact that she was a women should make no difference. Being one of the most well know designers of her time in a field that was make dominate at the time she reveled in the idea that she made men nervous and women proud.

With the creation of the "little black dress" Coco Chanel made it possible for women to work and play. These designs were made to allow women to use one item in many different facets. Chanel was an innovator to the female form. She also took such fabrics as cotton and jersey which were typically for men's undergarments and made women's everyday wear out of them. The idea of making clothing out of the comforts of men's clothing totally for women was a goal that Chanel was eager to obtain.
Coco Chanel died at the age of 87 on January 10, 1971 living in France still designing and still working. Her designs have now been passed on and are revived and lived through Karl Lagerfeld.
I have found that Coco Chanel is one of the most fascinating women that I have ever been fortunate enough to research. Not the typically feminist that people are used to reading about but she indeed liberated women in a very real way. Every thing I read about her whether it be the vast array of books about her or the multiple websites celebrating her vision I am also surprised at the things she did and continues to do even after death for women and the female form. Even know almost one-hundred years later her innovations and classic looks are used. Even if you do not consider yourself the modern fashionista, your closet no matter your style is more than likely got a splash of Coco in it, weather you know it or not.


Jordan said...

Love Chanel also! For more on the history of Chanel and her Haute Couture Fashion House check out my blog

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