5 things Coco Chanel has changed the world of fashion with
One of the most iconic figures in fashion is beyond question Coco Chanel. Born in the distant 1883, throughout her whole life she has created some of the most remarkable ideas that has changed our perception of beauty to this day.
Despite her tough life, Coco Chanel managed to stand out with her qualities of an extraordinary talented designer, a businesswoman with a sense for new opportunities and will that has often helped her in difficult times.
There is hardly anyone that does not admire the creations Coco Chanel bequeathed to the world, but some of them were too innovative for their time and deserve special attention. Here they are – the 5 things that Chanel forever changed the world of fashion with.
- Coco Chanel gave the trousers for women
Although the wars (1st and 2nd World War) are the main reason for ladies to turn to trousers as a garment, Coco Chanel has made a serious contribution in implementing them amongst the wide female audience as a chic element in their wardrobe.
Coco Chanel ‘s earliest attempts to bring the trousers into the ladies’ wardrobe, are when she wears men’s clothes in order to ride a horse more comfortably. Chanel is disappointed by the great inconvenience brought by all the beautiful ladies’ clothes at the time – tight corsets and multi-layered skirts. She even says, “Fashion sometimes forgets that human beings live in these clothes.” Later in the years, during a vacation in Deauville beach resort, she wears trousers again to replace her swimming suit. Her fashion followers quickly began to pursue her example and copied what she wore, embracing the idea of using trousers in their daily routine.
When she was 86 years old, she regretted the strong and frivolous influence of the trousers in the ladies’ wardrobe: “I did it because I wanted to provide comfort, but now I feel sad when I see 70% of women wearing trousers in formal places. ”
- Coco Chanel created new type of everyday dresses with Jersey
Coco Chanel was the first designer who dared to use jersey for creation of ladies’ clothing. By the time of WWI, materials such as jersey were popular mainly with their use in men’s clothing and especially as underwear. Ladies’ wardrobe contained mainly heavy silk and satin combined with the uncomfortable corset. This changes as the needs and opportunities during the war become different. Expensive and beautiful fabrics become inaccessible and, moreover, very impractical in times of war, when women had to replace men in many activities, with them being on the battlefield themselves. Coco Chanel sees this opportunity and creates a small daily collection of jersey for ladies. The result is an indisputable triumph, and the reason lies mainly in the ease, elasticity and convenience of the jersey – completely opposite to the familiar fabrics. In addition, she removes the tight waist that tightlaced too much and this gave extra functionality.
- Coco Chanel Branded her Perfume – Chanel № 5
One of the most innovative achievements Coco Chanel introduces into the world of fashion, is the branded perfume, something we are very accustomed to today. Every big brand already has its own aroma, bearing its name.
Presented in 1921, Chanel №5 for the first time contains not a single essence, but a rich bouquet of multiple fragrances, including jasmine, sandalwood, amber, aldehyde and ylang-ylang. Interestingly, for the first time, these scents are not natural essences, but artificial. Not only the content is different, though. Coco Chanel presents the perfume to the world in a completely unknown manner. It is advertised by celebrities such as Merlin Monroe and Nicole Kidman. When Chanel was asked where a lady should put on perfume, she responded: “Where she wants to be kissed.” Chanel’s main purpose with this fragrance was to create a perfume that scents of a real woman.
Today, nearly 100 years after Chanel №5 was launched, it is still one of the best-selling perfumes, and there is hardly a chance this would change.
- The Little Black Dress – the uniform of the stylish women
When Chanel presented her Little Black Dress in 1926, the American Vogue published a sketch, printing a highly positive review of it: “This dress will become the uniform of every woman with taste.”
Black color, until then recognized in Europe as the color of mourning, was treated for the first time in a different manner. Coco Chanel found it to be exquisite and stylish. She never favored excessive color variations of clothing, and even considered they made her peers seem ill.
Nowadays we are familiar with various readings of this garment – different lengths, cuts, fabrics, additional textures, decorations. The prototype, however, is middle of the calf long and a very simple straight model.
- Coco Chanel gave women the remarkable Chanel Suit
The designer was one of the first to borrow elements from menswear for women’s attire when designing her iconic suits. She created her unique suit with the desire to provide women with the same comfort and ease, as men have. The suit Chanel created consists of a collarless boxy wool jacket with braid trim, fitted sleeves and metallic embellished buttons with accompanying slimline skirt. Coco Chanel`s suit quickly became popular amongst women (especially in the USA) that wanted to build a career and that often had to compete with men. This helped them look professional and classy without losing their femininity. Celebrities like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly assisted in popularizing the suit in women`s wardrobe, however, one of the most iconic moments for the suit is when Jackie Kennedy wore it on the day of her husband`s assassination.
Being a true innovator in the world of fashion, Coco Chanel introduced a different perspective on beauty of the skin.
At the beginning of the last century sun tan was more popular for lower class people. This changes after her return to Paris with sun tan from a long vacation at the French Riviera. Her friends admired her complexion and quickly began following her example. In time, golden skin tan became a sign of wealth and beauty, as it remains till today.