Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel (1883–1971), a French orphan whose rough upbringing and life of hardship, hard work and survival instincts shaped the woman of this century.
Before Chanel, women of the Belle Epoque wore corsets and clothes so highly structured that they could hardly breathe. She believed that "women were supposed to dress for themselves and not their men". Contemporary to the invention of the automobile, Chanel created sportswear, literally borrowing sporting clothes from her boyfriends, like sailor shirts, trousers and tweed jackets. She designed women's clothes out of wool jersey, previously used for men's underwear. She dare to pile fake jewelry, faux pearls, which had been unheard of before. It was called "poor chic". She revolutionized the way women looked, popularizing the sun tan, bobbed hair, and red lipstick. Her perfume Chanel No. 5, sold in a glass cube that still looks modern today, is the number one selling fragrance in the world and the first perfume ever to have a designer's name.
Chanel's style is associated with the 1920s flappers, a new breed of self-confident young women that challenged the establishment. The flappers demonstrated their independence through new looks and attitude, such as short skirts and haircuts, openly using cosmetics, and being seen to smoke and drink cocktails. Compared to previous generations, the flappers were more active, pursuing athletic sports, driving their own automobiles, and going out to nightclubs where they could listen to jazz music and dance Charleston.
Coco Chanel was living proof of her motto, "Fashion passes but style remains." She said "I gave women a sense of freedom; I gave them back their bodies: bodies that were drenched in sweat, due to fashion's finery, lace, corsets, underclothes, padding."
To understand her deeply, take a tour to her apartment at the Ritz in Paris with this incredible animated video, the place where she spent the last 30 years of her life. She lived 88 years and worked until then: http://www.coco-mademoiselle.com/amus/
Watch the trailer of the recently released movie about her life "Coco Avant Chanel" at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvDFPjx-uBU
You may also visit the movie official website, don't miss the photo gallery: http://www.sonyclassics.com/cocobeforechanel/
The trailer of a previous movie, now in DVD, produced by Lifetime, "Coco Chanel": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5aIywO5DhU
Coco Chanel parle de l'élégance. Even if you don’t speak French you can apreciate her brillant mind... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qu3-Z32ljIE&feature=related
So Chanel... A flash from the past, Chanel Resort 2009/2010 designed by Karl Lagerfeld. Watch it : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwoTCBgIubU and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71So8g_AlLk&feature=related A close-up to the accessories: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ITj7tIe0Zk&feature=related