What did Coco do?

Let’s forget Karl for just a second and reminisce about the original, insanely intuitive Gabrielle Chanel or if you prefer – Coco Chanel. Now we all understand that this inspirational designer went beyond others of her time, making women’s fashion that radiated femininity opposing against the strong demand of the common uncomfortable attire, a frequent being that of tight corsets. But how did she do this? What were the specific elements that combined to give Gabrielle such a prodigious reputation in fashion?

Using Jersey

This fabric was viewed as the main for men’s underwear and nothing else. Coco decided that jersey would be suitable for her creations due to its low cost compared to alternative substances that had suddenly risen in price after the war. Daringly, Chanel was the first designer to involve jersey in her creations stating that it had a quality finish and an exceptional drapery. In addition, the fabric suited Chanel’s influence of straightforward and convenient menswear making it a perfect match for her ideas.


Inventing the Little Black Dress

Everyone has one, it’s that noted classic yet do you know that Chanel is the women to thank? Previously, black was the dull, unnoticeable shade viewed as a principle look for only funerals and the grief of widows. Gabrielle discovered the hues secretive aspect and came with the ever valued belief of it being a major contribution for fashion. To be honest, I cannot imagine a world without it. Dominant reds, greens and sharp blues were referenced to making Coco “feel ill” later on she quoted “these Women, I’m bloody well going to dress them in black!” Noticed by Vogue, they first introduced Gabrielle’s time-honoured black masterpiece in a 1926 issue spreading word of the commodity to a larger amount of fashion enthusiasts which is still growing today.


Labelling Perfume

Back then, scents were a mixture of completely natural aspects focused on floral aromas unlike the artificial perks involved nowadays. 1921 was the year Coco released her favoured perfume, possibly the most acknowledged of scents today, Chanel No.5 after the instance of it being the 5th perfume tested. Yes, Paul Poiret recently launched his own scent earlier in the year however there was an absence of his name. Gabrielle was of course intelligent enough to be the first of brands to officially have their name placed on the bottle. By doing this, people recognised the scent and knew it was Chanel no.5. Famously a particular lover was Marilyn Monroe repeatedly noting the scent during interviews “I said Chanel No 5 because it’s the truth.”


Releasing Extravagant Jewellery

Chanel is all about the elegance and high-class of the wearers so it is no surprise that Gabrielle was one of the first to produce costume jewellery in her collections. Likewise to before, Paul Poiret was the first nevertheless Coco’s range constituted of flamboyant white pearls placed besides each other, the reason why you have that treasured pearl necklace in your jewellery box. She adored the idea of exaggerated gems contrasting with her minimalistic and sophisticated apparel. Moreover, the combination of speculating both fake and legitimate in one look.


Having Tanned Skin

Surely, Gabrielle wasn’t the original copy of those orange faced stags you see on a night out; she was the opener of healthy, sun-kissed skin. This greatly rebelled against the standard appearance of pale faced complexions resembling porcelain dolls by the adding of bright blusher and rouge lips. She caught hold of the present man’s thoughts of an idealistic women being as alike to paintings as possible. Coincidently, Coco caught a beautiful tan amid her cruise holiday along the French Riviera. After arriving home, her peers exceedingly desired for the same coloured skin furthermore passing the fascination to other members of public enough to make it a trend all around the world as well as an ongoing accessory for years to come.  Even though the expression is generally viewed as being cheap when by the use of fake tan, formerly it gave out a reputation of prosperity and refinement.


Females Wearing Trousers 

Especially amongst the time of war, women working in factories would usually custom that of a pair of trousers for efficiency and health and safety reasons though not prior to Coco did the forms of attire become a general clothing item to females. It was when Gabrielle became anxious about displaying her figure to men precedent to having to wear a swimsuit that she refused and instead astounded people with walking out in a pair of sailors pants, this occurred at the society beach resort in Deauville (been there, just saying). Similar to how those of us in the Alexa Chung fandom attempt (and tremendously fail) to manipulate her style, Gabrielle’s fans did the same. Despite the women’s wearing of the clothing, she ensued to proclaim “I came up with them by modesty. From this usage to it becoming fashion, having 70% of women wearing trousers at evening dinner is quite sad.” I thoroughly disagree with her.


The Fashion-Changing Chanel Suit

The Chanel suit was the pinnacle of Coco’s clothing creations; it was the first of its kind. Recommended by major fashion icons consisting of Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy (worn on the day of her husband’s assassination) and Grace Kelly, the garment was trimmed with braid, had fitted sleeves, no collar and metallic embellished buttons. Additionally, the boxer jacket was combined with a sophisticated slim-line skirt emphasising that typical aristocratic Chanel women.


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