The world of fashion has been very enticing ever since one can remember it’s existence. It’s easy to say that one is fashionable or a fashion enthusiast, but have you ever thought what would you do to stay relevant in the fashion industry if you were sucked deep into it. Think about yourself as a fashion designer. Would you follow the trend of the industry to stay relevant or rather break the rules at the risk your label and have a 50-50 chance at success? Makes you think, doesn’t it? To be honest both the answers to this question are correct which in turn increases the dilemma. If you’re a follower you’d take the safe option and create designs based on the relevant trends to stay in the industry longer but If you’re a leader you would take the chance and maybe create something that revolutionises the industry for good.
History is full of iconic designers who took a leap of faith and a chance with their creativity and introduced designs and patterns that made the fashion industry breakthrough the general norms of the society. One such designer was Coco Chanel. The influence of Coco Chanel in the fashion world is indisputably relevant till today. She was fierce and rebellious and liberated the women of the early 1900’s from figure hugging corsets and managed to design comfort into luxury fashion.
In the 1920’s Coco Chanel added chic and classy to the colour black and helped people see that black was not just a colour for mourning but also a colour that could add pizzazz and elegance in the ladies evening wear. She introduced the iconic “Little Black Dress” in 1926 with the help of Vogue. Vogue magazine published Coco’s little black dress and even described it as “ a sort of uniform for all women of taste”. From that moment on the little black dress became the language of the of the chic.
Coco was a forward thinker and wanted to break the shackles of stereotype that prevailed between the men and the women at the time. She hence introduced yachting pants and pantsuits to women at a time when the high – society French women only wore skirts and dresses. At first she would only wear them herself but it did not take long before admirers noticed her style and began wearing them too. This wasn’t her only rebellion towards stereotyping,she even experimented and incorporated fabrics from men’s clothing. Tweed is one such example. Chanel introduced tweed in women wear through her once famous tweed jackets. Another major example of her rebellious and revolutionary clothing is the “Breton Top”. After a trip to the French coast,Chanel was inspired by the sailor uniforms and hence decided to introduce stripes in her 1917 collection. The “Brenton Top” became so famous after that , that it carried on for years to come. Fashion Icons like Audrey Hepburn,Jane Birkin and Brigitte Bardot carried Chanel’s Stripes so well that it later went on to become the very face of casual womenswear.
Coco Chanel was a woman defined by modernity. She extracted beautiful elements from a depressing and an unhappy past and gave birth to a revolution that continues to break shackles of the stereotype even today.