Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel or Coco Chanel (1883 – 1971) is someone we’ve all heard of. She started out as a milliner, but with the help of her male admirer she opened a boutique in France, and things took off from there. She liberated women of the time in many ways and truly inspired the flapper look (short hair, shorter skirts, smoking in public, etc).
Here are 10 ways she changed fashion:
1. Liberated women from the constraints of the corset.
2. Started using jersey fabric, which was only used to make undies.
3. Created fashions which were simple in design, but effective.
4. She created a wool jersey traveling suit: a cardigan jacket, low-belted pullover top and pleated skirt. Worn with low-heeled shoes, this was the casual chic look in designer women’s wear.
5. Created the first perfume that did not attempt to replicate the smell of a flower, but smelled artificial.
6. “It’s disgusting to walk around with millions around the neck because one happens to be rich. I only like fake jewellery … because it’s provocative” or as we know it: costume jewelry. It’s such a wonderful thing to have! She made it chic, so more were made, and now we get to enjoy these vintage costume jewelry treasures today.
8. She was inspired by everything around her to create her fashion pieces, and many a time, inspired by men’s clothing (which was always more comfortable).
9. “The Little Black Dress” that cult classic wardrobe piece that is a must have for every woman’s closet, was thought up by her. Prior to this, black was considered to be a sad color, worn to mourn.
10. She was a woman in a man’s world. As being one of the only women designers, she did not let this fact stop her.
Chanel made a lasting impression on the world of fashion.