The Influence of Coco Chanel on fashion


Born as Gabriel Bonheur Chanel on August 19 1883 in Saumur, France. Chanel was put in an orphanage after her mother’s death by her father who worked as a peddler. Chanel is famous for her timeline designs TM suits and little black dress. She launched her first perfume in the 1920 and eventually introduced the Chanel suit and the little black dress with an emphasis on making comfortable clothes for women which would be simple yet sophisticated outfits pad with great accessories mainly strands of pearls.

Coco was raised by nuns who thought her how to sew- a skill that led her to her life’s work. Around the age of 20, Chanel became involved with Etienne Balsan, who offered to help her start a millinery business in Paris. She soon left him for one of his wealthier friends, Arthur “Boy” Capel. Both men were instrumental in Chanel’s first fashion venture.

Being a woman in the early 1900s wasn’t always the easiest. Coco Chanel chose to change this, and it started with her abolition of the corset. She wanted to inspire women to be women, and to allow them to live comfortably and freely. Through the use of her fashion and accessories, she inspired and uplifted women.

Opening her first shop on Paris’s Rue Cambon in 1910, Chanel started out selling hats. Her first taste of clothing success came from a dress she fashioned out of an old jersey on a chilly day. In response to the many people who asked about where she got the dress, she offered to make one for them. “My fortune is built on that old jersey that I’d put on because it was cold in Deauville,” she once told author Paul Morand.

Chanel became a popular figure in Parisian literary and artistic worlds. She designed costumes for the Ballets Russes and Jean Cocteau’s play Orphée, and counted Cocteau and artist Pablo Picasso among her friends.

In 1925, Chanel introduced the now legendary Chanel suit with collarless jacket and well-fitted skirt. Her designs were revolutionary for the time—borrowing elements of men’s wear and emphasizing comfort over the constraints of then-popular fashions. She helped women say goodbye to the days of corsets and other confining garments.

Another 1920s revolutionary design was Chanel’s little black dress. She took a color once associated with mourning and showed just how chic it could be for evening wear.

Coco Chanel greatly influenced women’s fashion. She influenced both women and men.  Women now had more freedom; they could dress how they wanted. Her fashion also helped the creation of other fashion, she inspired others to not only expand on the fashion of the time but to continue to evolve fashion. Coco Chanel made it so menswear could also be worn as womenswear, this was a huge step because it helped show how women and men were equal.

Some of her popular fashion trends are: Trousers for Women, Suntan, Jersey, Branded Perfume, Costume Jewellery, The Little Black Dress, The Chanel Suit.

She influenced men that women were capable of more than just being housewives. They could work and do just as much as men, they just hadn’t been given the opportunity. Chanel didn’t change how men thought about women, she opened their eyes to a new point of view.

– by Anushka Dwivedi

picture credits-(google images)



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