A legendary name in fashion, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. Chanel herself – who was born in an orphanage, was self-taught and who first established her house in 1913 – is perhaps the most important fashion designer of the 20th century. Her pioneering use of sportswear for high fashion in the ’20s and the little black dress quickly made her a household name. Her Chanel No. 5 perfume (invented in 1921), is a confirmed ‘classic’, as are her softly-structured tweed suit and quilted leather handbags (both developed in the ’50s).
When Chanel died in 1971 she left a rich legacy and a brand that stands the test of time. The brand remains relevent, current and fresh in 2008.
Chanel today remains a powerhouse in the industry and in May 2005 the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York opened an exhibition devoted to Chanel’s historic innovations, featuring designs by both the house founder and its present incumbent. As Chanel herself once said, “I am neither in the past nor avant-garde. My style follows life.”
Recently Shirley McLaine starred as the legendary fashion icon on Lifetime Television. Loved, Loved, Loved every minute of it.