Thursday, July 1, 2010

Designer of the Week: Coco Chanel

Since I have already written about two of my three favorite designers, I figured now would be the appropriate time to write about the third.

Coco Chanel (pictured left) is one of the most iconic fashion designers of all time. Born Gabrielle Chanel, Coco is the founder of Chanel S.A. (or just Chanel), a Parisian fashion house and one of the most established fashion houses in the world. Chanel is known for its haute-couture, ready-to-wear lines, handbags, cosmetics, and fragrances.

Coco Chanel based her designs line on a back-to-basics idea, garnering elegance and class from simple, sophisticated looks. Her two and three piece suits, as well as fragrance Chanel No. 5 are still alive and well in the fashion world today. Coco was the Chief Designer of Chanel until her death in 1971. She was still working and designing when she died at the age of 87.

Today, the fashion house is run by co-owners Alain and Gerard Wertheimer and head designer Karl Lagerfeld. Chanel has greatly expanded their perfume and cosmetic line, adding a Coco Mademoiselle fragrance and other makeup products to appeal to a generation of younger women. Chanel is also very well known for their quilted fabric on clothes, handbags, and even some shoes (most notably flats).

Chanel currently designs many collections, including a Ready-to-Wear and Couture for both Fall and Spring, a Pre-Fall, and a Resort collection. Below are some examples from her most recent ones.

Fall 2009 Couture

 Spring 2010 Ready-to-Wear

 Spring 2010 Couture

Pre-Fall 2010

 Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear

 2011 Resort

While Chanel could throw a model into a paper bag and have it look couture, I think they absolutely nailed the Spring 2010 Ready-to-Wear and the 2011 Resort collections. They are truly fabulous, and there almost isn't a single piece out of the 70 plus designed that I wouldn't wear. If you want more Chanel, click here to see her full collections for the past two years.

While Coco Chanel is no longer with us, her legacy lives on through her designs created in her 60 years of being an icon in the fashion industry, and is still one of the most well-respected and coveted labels in all of couture today.

"Fashion fades, only style remains the same." -Coco Chanel

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