The Fashion Book: Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel

This afternoon I had a lovely surprise delivered to me at work – The Fashion Book. The pages reflect on the fashion world and the people who helped to make it what it is today. An A-Z booklet filled with icons.

I opened the booklet to immediately flip to Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel. That’s when I saw this picture:

Her pose says it all, right?

The text goes on to read: “Coco Chanel is strolling in the Tuileries in Paris, a short distance from the rue Cambon where she lived and had her maison de couture, which she closed in 1939 and re-opened in 1954. She is wearing all the hallmarks of her signature style: suit, blouse, pearl jewelry, scarf, hat, gloves and handbag with gilt chains. She was a perfectionist, and the way she gestures to Alexander Liberman with her right arm manifests one of her fixations – a comfortable arm movement. She would rip off the sleeves of her suit time and again to get a perfect fit. The basic idea for her suits came from the concept of military uniforms. As the mistress of the Duke of Westminster, she had taken many trips on his yacht where the crew wore uniforms. The essence of her style was rooted in a masculine model of power, a direction that has dominated twentieth-century fashion.”

She was beautifully brilliant.

We love Coco not only for her iconic style, but for her grit, her tenacity and rebelliousness – traits that built one of today’s largest fashion empires. Traits that we could probably all use more of – to stand tall and strong in the face of challenges, work our hardest day in and day out and to always believe in ourselves. But here’s the catch: all the while staying true to who you are.

Like Ms. Chanel said, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” By the way, she also said “A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.”




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