When we talk about fashion the very first thing that comes in our mind is comfort. what is the point of fashion that serves no comfort? specially for women they are always expected to look in the most ideal form: thin waist line, prominent collar bones, proportionate hips and breasts. Confirming to such norms are really difficult and sometimes in ancient era [ Elizabethan era for example] would become highly injurious to health. The era that had very peculiar definition of beauty, girls were expected to fairer than the fairest often they ended up bleaching their skin leading to cancer, radioactive rays were used to treat dark spots r any other skin issues- definitely it worked on the flaws but hampered theire health beyond imagination. Thin waists became must for women; Corsets were always worn and they were worn tightly leading to dislocation of the spinal bone. Life of women were not easy back then whether professionally or privately they were always expected to hold on tto certain beauty standards in the society.
Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel fashion designer and a business woman; founder of the Chanel brand marked the milestone in the fashion industry. She was the first among all to Liberate women from Corset silhouette and introduce more free, comfortable, sporty and chic wear for women. Besides being a prolific wardrobe designer she laid her hands in jewelry designing , handbags and even fragrance. Her famous Chanel no.5 perfume has made its mark in the fragrances’ market. It became a statement for every woman.
Coco was a name given to her by her father, since then she calls herself as Coco Chanel and that is the exact significance of her logo.
She was born in 1883 to an unmarried mother Jeanne – A Laundry Woman. Her father was Albert Chanel – a street vendor. They were over all five siblings. She was 12 when her mother passed away due to Tuberculosis and her father kept her and her sisters in the Orphanage while her two brothers were sent to work in the fields. It was during her stay in orphanage she learnt the art of sewing and was able to find the work of seamstress. Later in her life with the help of her lover she started her boutique in Deauville which was financed by Artur Capel her then Lover. It was from here that she started her journey to become The Chanel.
Her contribution to the fashion industry is enthralling; she revolutionized the fashion industry creating her own legacy. It was only for Chanel that the world of fashion has come up with diversity. Her Legacy is so expansive, impressive and Forward thinking that she has turned fashion on its head. Her most iconic changes in the world of fashion was:
- Liberating women from Corset Silhouette Coco changed the basic silhouette of women’s wear; stripped of the tight corsets and shortened dress revealed ankles. Introduced straight cut silhouette that provided easy movement to women and wear free from the baleful shackles of corsets giving a sense of relief to their spinal bones.
- Hats for women Even before Chanel introduced hats for women, women used to wear hats- heavy hats with lots of feathers pearls and may be sometimes even fruits hanging to them. She Chopped off all the feathers and petals, tore off all the pearls and introduced a much simpler designed hats for women to wear which was popularized by many theater actresses .
- Pants for women Pants for women was once considered as a sign of absurdity in the society, perhaps was even tabooed it was chanel who defied the norms of the society to liberate women and put them into more comfort loving wear. she noticed how difficult it was for women to horse ride wearing skirts first she designed pants for riding then evolved it to be worn in various occasions.
- Suites for women One of her greatest inspiration to develope new fashion was the World War I. Because during this period had to be a part of war and women had to take their place therefore chanel was fast enough to spot the need of developing more practical and chic clothing for women this was when she came up with knitted, light weighted, flexible and flattering suites for women. This was one of her most significant contribution to the fashion industry. Her suites were well known for its flawless fit and collarless necklines.
- Lastly The Little Black Dress Black was Coco’s favorite color; although that has nothing to do with the creation of The Little Black Dress. Black dresses were usually worn for mourning but Chanel’s motive behind creating something unconventionally conventional was to create an outlook/frock/dress that was comfortable yet at the same time was fashionable which could be worn elsewhere other than mourning.
Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel was a pioneer to the fashion industry as she managed to create her own empire in world of men. Fashion for her was not just clothes but it was beyond as she once quoted, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” well true enough if we look carefully we realize fashion is within us. so we should all keep calm and follow what Coco has thought us, “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” So be classy, be fabulous but most importantly BE YOURSELF.