Coco Chanel Sweetrocks Inspiring Woman
Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel was a French fashion designer, Nazi spy, and businesswoman. The founder and namesake of the Chanel brand, she was credited in the post-World War I era with liberating women from the constraints of the “corseted silhouette” and popularizing a sporty, casual chic as the feminine standard of style. A prolific fashion creator, Chanel extended her influence beyond couture clothing, realizing her design aesthetic in jewellery, handbags, and fragrance. Her signature scent, Chanel No. 5, has become an iconic product. She is the only fashion designer listed on Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Chanel herself designed her famed interlocked-CC monogram, which has been in use since the 1920s.
Chanel’s social connections encouraged a conservative personal outlook. Rumors arose about Chanel’s activities during the German occupation of France during World War II, and she was criticized for being too close to the German occupiers. This boosted her professional career: One of Chanel’s liaisons was with a German diplomat, Baron (Freiherr) Hans Günther von Dincklage. After the war, Chanel was interrogated about her relationship with von Dincklage, but she was not charged as a collaborator due to intervention by Churchill. After several post-war years in Switzerland, she returned to Paris and revived her fashion house. In 2011, Hal Vaughan published a book about Chanel based on newly declassified documents, revealing that she had collaborated with German intelligence activities. One plan in late-1943 was for her to carry an SS peace overture to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to end the war.
In 1929 Chanel introduced a handbag inspired by soldier’s bags. Its thin shoulder strap allowed the user to keep her hands free. Following her comeback, Chanel updated the design in February 1955, creating what would become the “2.55” (named for the date of its creation). Whilst details of the classic bag have been reworked, such as the 1980s update by Karl Lagerfeld when the clasp and lock were redesigned to incorporate the Chanel logo and leather was interlaced through the shoulder chain, the bag has retained its original basic form. In 2005, the Chanel firm released an exact replica of the original 1955 bag to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its creation.
The bag’s design was informed by Chanel’s convent days and her love of the sporting world. The chain used for the strap echoed the chatelaines worn by the caretakers of the orphanage where Chanel grew up, whilst the burgundy lining referenced the convent uniforms. The quilted outside was influenced by the jackets worn by jockeys, whilst at the same time enhancing the bag’s shape and volume.
Thank you Coco Chanel (#CocoChanel) for being an Inspiring Woman!
A passion dear to my heart is supporting and uplifting women. When women support each other, incredible things happen. Sweetrocks will carry that mission by highlighting women weekly in hopes of education, support and inspiration of women.
Curated by: Conundrum Media