Is there anyone on earth living in civilized society that has not heard of the brand Chanel? One of the most loved brands, Chanel is owned privately by Gerard and Alain Wertheimer, who are the grandsons of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel’s business partner Pierre Wertheimer. This brand is actually a high house of fashion which specializes in ready to wear and haute couture clothing, fashion accessories and luxury goods. From her time as a chanteuse, Gabrielle Chanel gained the ‘Coco’ nickname. Coco Chanel as a fashion designer catered to the taste of women for simple designs of jewelry, dresses, trousers, suits, blouses, dresses and bags. These replaced the nineteenth century constrictive, overly designed and opulent fashions. The product brands of Chanel have also be personified by actresses and fashion models including Marilyn Monroe, Keira Knightley, Audrey Tautou, Anna Mouglalis, Nicole Kidman, Vanessa Paradis, Carole Bouquet, Catherine Deneuve and Ines de la Fressange.
The Chanel Revolution
Known for the Chanel Suit, Chanel’s perfume number five and the little black dress, the use of Chanel for fabric made of jersey produced affordable, comfortable garments. Both every day ad haute couture fashion was revolutionized by the House of Chanel. They replaced bodice and corset structured silhouettes with functional, flattering garments to the figure of a woman.
Colors that were muted and masculine like navy blue and grey were used by Chanel to denote the boldness of character of females. The House of Chanel clothing featured leather trim, quilted fabric and reinforcements of the finish, design and fabric. This created clothes that maintained function and form as they were worn. One example is the wool suit by Chanel which features a cardigan style jacket and a knee length skirt. Gold and black buttons decorated the front of the jacket. Usually, a leather handbag and pearl necklace complemented the accessories along with pump two-tone shoes.
In the roaring twenties, Coco Chanel decided to create a handbag freeing up her hands as she was tired of having to carry her hand bags in her arms. She took her inspiration from soldier bag straps and added thinner straps. The resulting design was introduced to the market in the year nineteen twenty-nine. In nineteen fifty-four, after a successful come back to the industry of fashion, a handbag update was decided by Chanel. The design that resulted was named after the date of creation, February nineteen fifty-five or 2:55. Through the years the design of the 2:55 evolved into many different variations including the double flap versus the single flap, the interlocking CC versus the mademoiselle CC and the interwoven leather versus the metal for the chain. The fabric was also changed and veered away from the classic leather in some variations. In February 2005 the 2:55 was remade exactly as the original by Karl Lagerfeld. This was due to the 2:55’s fiftieth anniversary. This bag was then known as the 2:55 Reissue. These days, all the 2:55’s resembling the original are called Reissues and all of these have classic flaps and interlocking CCs.