Coco Chanel was born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel on August 19, 1883, in Saumur, France.
After her mother’s death, Chanel was put in an orphanage by her father who worked as a peddler. • She was raised by nuns who taught her how to sew—a skill that would lead to her life’s work. • She got her nickname Coco from her brief career as a singer • Coco became the mistress of Etienne Balsan, moved into his Chateau where she lived for three years, this is where she began designing and creating hats. http://www.lachanelphile.com/2012/08/10/flash-back-friday-aubazine-abbey/
Later she started a relationship with Arthur Edward ‘Boy’ Capel, he financed her living in Paris and her first shop. • She opened her first shop in Rue Cambon 1910, selling hats and later went on to design, make and sell clothes. http://elogedelart.canalblog.com/archives/2009/06/29/14246978.html www.luxurystylemagazine.com http://blog.parisattitude.com/french-culture/gabrielle-coco-chanel.html
1920 – Launched Chanel No.5, the first perfume to feature a designer’s name. • 1925 – Introduction of the now legendary Chanel suit. • 1926 – revolutionary design of the ‘Little Black Dress’ • She met the wealthy duke of Westminster aboard his yacht around 1923, and the two started a decades-long relationship. In response to his marriage proposal, she reportedly said “There have been several Duchesses of Westminster—but there is only one Chanel!”
The international economic depression of the 1930s had a negative impact on her company • The outbreak of World War II led Chanel to close her business. • During the war Chanel was a nurse. • Chanel got involved with a German military officer, Hans Gunther von Dincklage and suffered in the publics opinion over connected controversy. • Consequently she spent several years in Switzerland. http://cocochanellife.blogspot.co.uk
1954 – Chanel returned to Paris, took on Christian Dior’s New Look, and expanded the signature style by introducing the Pea jacket and Bell-bottoms for women. • 1969 – Chanel’s fascinating life story became the basis for the Broadway musical Coco.
Coco Chanel died on January 10, 1971, at her apartment in the Hotel Ritz. • She never married, having once said “I never wanted to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird.” • A little more than a decade after her death, designer Karl Lagerfeld took the reins at her company to continue the Chanel legacy.
Hats 1909: • started by making hats for her friends in 1909 • licensed hat-maker and owned her first shop in 1910. • first hats made of straw, with wide brims • big break French actress wore her hats on stage – (Gabrielle Dorziat) • expanded again in 1913 to another boutique – casual clothing
Jersey Dress 1914: • alternative to the constricting corsets • visually appealing and comfortable • men’s undergarments • low cost, draped well • flattered the female body. vertical lines and trim to highlight a woman’s shape.
Chanel Suit 1920: • flattering cut, simple fabric, and specially weighted lining, to give it that perfect hang • Tweed – cheap. Fur lined – expensive • traditionally masculine clothing features – bold look • Comfort and mobility – active lifestyle • consisted of a collarless, button up, wool jacket and a fitted skirt. • braid trim, metallic buttons and fitted sleeves; - polished and sophisticated
No. 5 perfume 1921: • world’s bestselling perfumes ever • chanel - ”give women an artificial perfume, yes, I really do mean artificial, • like a dress, something that has been made. I don’t want any rose or lily of the valley, I want a perfume that is a composition.” • first perfumes ever to mix natural and artificial essences. • Production in 1922 • No 5 because - “I always launch my collection on the 5th day of the 5th months, • so the number 5 seems to bring me luck – therefore, I will name it Nº 5.” • Today a bottle of no 5 perfume is sold every 55seconds somewhere in the world!
Pearls 1924: • Popularized costume jewellery • Opened a jewellery workshop in 1924 • Twinset and pearls created • Seasonal jewellery – mixing fake pearls with real stones
Little Black Dress 1926: • little black dress has become one of the most desired staples in any woman’s closet • wool for day • crepe, satin, velvet for night • symbol of chic and sophisticated simplicity • a piece of clothing that any woman could wear • 1962 – French vogue called Chanel’s little black dress, the “ford” of fashion. • Lasting perfection – black is never out of style • ‘Chanel above all else, is a style. Fashion, you see, goes out of fashion. Style – never.’ • – Coco Chanel
Social changes In the times that Coco Chanel lived she had to be a strong and independent woman to Survive . She quickly realized that she would need to have to make social connections with the right people. Because of this she had to put an act on to create an ideal image of herself So people would think that she was a higher class of person than she was. She didn't’ want To be perceived as a orphan but as a actress. Or person of higher class than she was. when questioned, Chanel would claim that when her mother died, her father sailed for America and she was sent to live with two cold-hearted spinster aunts. She even claimed to have been born in 1893 as opposed to 1883, and that her mother had died when Coco was six instead of 12. All this was done to diminish the stigma that poverty, orphanhood, and illegitimacy bestowed upon unfortunates in 19th-century France. http://www.thebiographychannel.co.uk/biographies/coco-chanel.html
1.) Gabrielle as a shop girls in Moulins 1903 (with one of her many admirers) Gabrielle Chanel, Etienne Balsan and Boy Capel at Royalieu
Social effect of world war one on Chanel As far as fashion iSconcerned, WW1 produced a strong discontinuity in the way women dressed (of course, the men were wearing uniforms). The increasing employment of women in industrial activities had relaxed strict dress codes, and allowed women to wear cotton trousers for the first time. As women’s roles in Western society changed, modern fashion changed along with it. Easy-to-wear clothing had diffused into mainstream society, and the use of “poor” materials proliferated. (Wool was necessary for uniforms and interwar unemployment created a further need for substitution and recycled materials.) Paul Poiret‘s extravagantly-modeled business failed after WW1 erupted, as a result of his failure to understand the evolutionary landmark of the War and its impact on society and fashion. He failed to adapt to meet the modern needs of his clients, thus opening up a market for Coco Chanel. http://www.eurbanista.com/fashion-history-from-ww1-through-ww2/#sthash.mHi0KZpQ.dpuf
As a result of World War I and the worldwide women’s suffrage movement taking place, women became much more active in society, such as participating and volunteering in the war effort. The war also had an effect on men’s fashion, delaying changes in style that would eventually take place in the next decade. Paris was no exception to these social changes, and while remaining the fashion capital of the world for fine women’s clothing, it propelled women’s fashion from modest and impractical to modern, sensible, and unconventional.
mid decade, in fashion terms the ideal new woman was a tomboy, a garconne, young, slim, athletic, short-haired and short-skirted, almost androgynous in appearance; a friend and an equal rather than a passive dependent” There was a desire to appear two-dimensional, with boyish, shapeless styles featuring low waists and higher hemlines. The blatantly menswear-inspired outfits of the 1920s continued to reflect the social changes taking place for women, but as the decade progressed, the styles were less drastic: waistlines rose and clothes tightened some on dresses, skirts, and blouses. women began to have a more active role in society, resulting in more practical clothing. Hemlines rose slightly and clothing loosened considerably.
1920s, the flapper The flappers wore shocking knee-length dresses and were known for their bobbed hair and scandalous dances. Flappers did epitomize the Lost Generation and the excess associated with Paris in the 1920s. Flappers in Paris also set a trend that would be followed in other countries, such as the United States.
Unlike women’s fashion, men’s fashion was centered in London during the 1920s. Men’s fashion also reflected the changes of the time. Men came back from World War I and wore the same clothes they had been wearing in the “teens”, before the war. Pants were fairly straight-legged and there was a trend of military-inspired jackets. Towards the middle of the decade, the style began to change, spear-headed by a trend that began at Oxford University. Oxford Bags,or extremely wide-legged pants, became fashionable for men first in an effort to by-pass a university rule, and then became popular worldwide, drastically changing the image of fashion for men.