Chanel 19 CC printed Multicoloured black fabric handbag with Chanel 31 Rue Paris print
Chanel is a French luxury fashion house that was founded by couturière Coco Chanel in 1910. It focuses on women’s high fashion and ready-to-wear clothes, luxury goods and accessories. The company is currently owned by Alain Wertheimer and Gérard Wertheimer, grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, who was an early business partner of Coco Chanel.
In her youth, Gabrielle Chanel gained the nickname “Coco” from her time as a chanteuse. As a fashion designer, Coco Chanel catered to women’s taste for elegance in dress, with blouses, suits, trousers, dresses, and jewellery (gemstone and bijouterie) of simple design, that replaced the opulent, over-designed, and constrictive clothes and accessories of 19th-century fashion. The Chanel product brands have been personified by male and female fashion models, idols and actresses, including Margot Robbie, Lily Rose-Depp, Nicole Kidman, Keira Knightley, Kristen Stewart, G-Dragon, Pharrell Williams, Cara Delevingne, Nana Komatsu, Jennie Kim, and Marilyn Monroe.
Chanel is well known for the perfume Chanel No. 5 and the Chanel Suit. Chanel’s use of jersey fabric produced garments that were comfortable and affordable. Chanel revolutionized fashion – both high fashion (haute couture) and everyday fashion (prêt-à-porter) – by replacing structured-silhouettes, based upon the corset and the bodice, with garments that were functional and at the same time flattering to the woman’s figure.
In the 1920s, the simple-line designs of Chanel couture made popular the ‘flat-chested’ fashions that were the opposite of the hourglass figure achieved by the fashions of the late 19th century – the Belle Époque of France (c. 1890–1914), and the British Edwardian era (c. 1901–1919). Chanel used colors traditionally associated with masculinity in Europe, such as grey and navy blue, to denote feminine boldness of character. The clothes of the House of Chanel featured quilted fabric and leather trimmings; the quilted construction reinforces the fabric, the design, and the finish, producing a garment that maintains its form and function while being worn. An example of such haute couture techniques is the woolen Chanel suit – a knee-length skirt and a cardigan-style jacket, trimmed and decorated with black embroidery and gold-coloured buttons. The complementary accessories were two-tone pump shoes and jewellery, usually a necklace of pearls, and a leather handbag.
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