Coco Chanel – Biography of Coco Chanel

He was born in 1883 in Namur, Avernia. His childhood was spent in Issoire and CourpiƩre.
When her mother died, Gabrielle was very young, and her father, overwhelmed by the situation, abandoned the girl in an orphanage, where she was educated by the nuns, something she always tried to hide.

At the age of 17, he left the convent where he lived to become a cabaret singer. That was when he met Ettiene Balsan, a rich man of the world from whom he learned to move in society and with whom he later arrived in Paris to dedicate himself to his vocation: design.

She began her career in 1909, designing hats in Paris, and a year later she managed to open her shop at 21 Cambon Street, under the name “Modas Chanel”, which later changed to “Gabrielle Chanel” and nowadays simply “Chanel”. Today this store continues to operate and is the heart of the Chanel empire.

Coco hated corsets and tightness, so fashionable in her time. At the same time, he firmly believed that elegance in clothing meant “freedom of movement”, and that was the premise of his designs.

These issues led her to invent the style that enshrined her: the woman of the 20th century, a hard-working, independent and emancipated woman, who needed comfortable and sober clothes to go to work, a wardrobe that would make her feel elegant but without letting herself be herself. herself.

The black color, which until then was reserved only for mourning, began to be seen in the daily clothes of women.

The jacket suits, the white shirts with straight lines, the short hair, the men’s sweaters adapted to women, the sportswear, all inventions that were coming out of his head.

The women of Paris followed in his footsteps and later his legendary designs found their way into the wardrobes of ladies in many parts of the world. The Chanel legend had begun.

He created many classics of fashion. The main one was the Chanel “suit”, the little black dress, the turtleneck sweater, the jackets, the trench coats and the jackets (“French coat”) that were previously only for men.

It is admirable that in a society like that of Paris, where aristocratic women were seen wearing their fine jewels, Coco Chanel revolutionized fashion with an incredible collection of costume jewelry.
The famous pearl strips around the neck, chain belts, earrings and bracelets made of alloys of different metals that replaced gold, continue to adorn the women of this century.
Not forgetting the padded or “quilted” bags that marked a classic stamp that not only left its mark, but is still a sign of elegance and distinction today.

The game and combination of classic colors, both beige and white and black, characterized their clothing collections.
The coordinated was seen in both evening dresses and tailored suits. And precisely on these he marked another of his great hallmarks: the white cuffs and collar.

Thanks to the good taste that Coco had for the mixture of tones, he came to literally dress the woman from head to toe, leaving us a great classic heritage in the two-tone shoes with lock and the almost bare heel.

His influence in the world of fashion has transcended in such a way that to date it lasts and is extraordinary.

With her collections, Coco radically changed the appearance of women and laid the foundations of modern fashion, while changing the feminine mentality: By defending jacket suits and his functional, masculine trousers and knitted sweaters, he also defended a more comfortable way of dressing and, ultimately, a freer conception of women.

During the 1930s, Chanel introduced a small line of cosmetics that included lipstick, blush, and translucent powder. With these products, her presence in the world of makeup was solidified and her reputation grew as the creator of a total “look”.

His life was full of ups and downs, lovers and misunderstandings. One of the most notorious scandals of her life was her affair with a Nazi officer, a fact that led her into exile in Switzerland during World War II.
Paris, however, forgave him for his mistake and on his return, in 1954, Coco had no problems reopening his activity with enormous success.

At that time the Frenchwoman presented to the world one of her most anticipated collections, in which she launched her famous Chanel jacket suit.
A few years later, any woman of social relevance had one of those designs in her closet.

Coco Chanel never interrupted her creative work. He continued to innovate until leaving an extraordinary influence in the world of fashion.

Among her regular clients were 50s celebrities such as Brigitte Bardot, Marlene Dietrich (friend and client); Katherine Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor who greatly admired her; Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe to whom she owes the doubling of the sale of her collections after she dared to say that to sleep she only used a few drops of Chanel No. 5. Today, this fragrance continues to be a favorite in the world. world.

Today Chanel has boutiques in more than 40 cities around the world that, in a sense, have become fashion capitals, such as New York, Chicago, Toronto, Milan, Rome, London, Paris, Zurich, Sydney, Tokyo and Sao Paulo.
The House of Chanel continues to bring the best of French fashion in terms of clothing, fragrances, skin treatments and makeup.
It constantly continues to define and redefine its style, but retains the luxury and elegance that are already synonymous with its legendary name.

La Grande Mademoiselle finally passed away in 1971, in Paris, when she was embarking on the preparation of her new collection.
The world lost one of the greats, but her style and teachings are part of the collective unconscious.