Happy Birthday, Coco Chanel: 5 Fashion Trademarks from a Legend

Categories: Style/Fashion

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My obsession with Coco Chanel began before I even knew who she was. The scent of Chanel No. 5 is as embedded in my memory as any I can think of, reminding me of afternoons playing dress-up from grandmothers' closets and church on Christmas Eve. Of course I am not alone in this regard -- No. 5 is the most recognizable fragrance in the world, and it was my first, subtle introduction to Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, better known as Coco. Born on August 19, 1883, in Saumur, France, Mlle. Chanel would grow up to change the world, both in her own time and beyond.

If I sound enamored of Coco Chanel, it's because I am. She is fascinating, complicated and impossibly romantic. She defies the imagination: A couturier worth millions, a Parisian fashion powerhouse draped in pearls and dipped in diamonds, the most elegant woman in the world who had a string of famous (and infamous) lovers...once went stream fishing with Winston Churchill.

In honor of Coco's birthday, we present five of her signature innovations in fashion and beauty.

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5. The Chanel Suit
Featuring menswear-inspired lines with boxy jackets and straight, narrow skirts, her tweed suit remains a timeless fashion staple for the luxury brand even today. No more corsets, or manipulation of the female figure. Comfort, ease and natural fluidity are the focus. Chanel's tweed suits were favored by such fashionistas as Jacqueline Kennedy, and today by Vogue editrix Anna Wintour.


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AshelyWine502015
AshelyWine502015

I just p a i d $21 for an i P a d 2-64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasonîc Lumîx GF 1 Camera that we got for $38 there arriving tomorrow by UPS.I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62 to buy.Here is the website we use to get it all from BídsFírst.Com

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

I recommend two books:

Coco Chanel: The Legend and The Life by Justine Picardie--The best bio I have read on Mademoiselle thus far.

The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World's Most Famous Perfume by Tilar J. Mazzeo--Not especially well-written, but an interesting lens (the perfume) through which to view Mademoiselle and the times in which she lived.

ddt
ddt

Too bad that she was apparently a hard-core anti-Semite and allegedly a Nazi agent

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

There has been much written and little proven about Coco Chanel's "alleged" politics and personal biases.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Nope, nothing alleged. She had an affair with an SS officer and denounced the Jewish owners of her fragrance to the Nazis. She was a wicked, cold, and ugly woman, not only on the outside, but also inside.http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi...

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

This is a piece on Coco's impact on fashion. To learn more about her life I recommend starting with the biography I mentioned in a previous comment. There are many to choose from, with lots of theories for you to learn more about. Enjoy!

H_e_x
H_e_x

Is that why she fled to Switzerland after the war, because she was so innocent? Or was it because she was going to punished by the citizens of France for her cowardly ways?

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

Read again: "much written LITTLE proven". Not nothing. Little. There is very little documented proof of anything. I've read several biographies--I suggest that if you are interested in the subject you do the same.

I'm not defending any behavior or beliefs she may have held, just pointing out that much of what is said about her isn't fully documented.

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