I'm currently on a break, so today it's a guest post from Karen of Fabulous Miss K. Karen has a long history of working in the fashion and beauty industry, and there's very little she doesn't know about vintage style. Karen is currently fulfilling her life long dream of creating her very own fashion line, so it's not surprising that the lady Karen has decided to write a post about, is Coco Chanel
Enjoy! Missy Vintage x
Coco Chanel advised women should be two things classy and fabulous"
Wise words from a true fashion genius, Coco Chanel born in 1883(or possibly 1893 - she often changed her true birthday!!) changed the way women dress, she drew from her childhood in an orphanage and the austere dress of the nuns that taught her as a child.
She worked her way up from a shop assistant to haute couture legend - her key to success - vision, discipline, the ability to assert oneself and not taking no for an answer.
Starting with a hat shop in Deauville funded by one of her rich lovers she created simple straw boaters without the frills and feathers that fashionable women of the day were wearing. Moving to the address that the house still operates from today – 31 Rue Cambon in Paris.
Chanel had many lovers over the years and one or two of them financed her business but she was one of the first self-made women in business, a rare thing in the early 20th century. The Duke of Westminster even declared his love for her by putting her iconic double C's on every lamppost in the Borough of Westminster - take a look the next time you pass by in London? She embodied the modern woman and her designs were as avant-garde as she was.
.Chanel was ahead of her time - when the fashion was for women to flounce around in frills and corsets she gave them freedom. Her designs borrowed from the wardrobe of her lovers – her designs in tweed and jersey were revolutionary, these kind of fabrics had not be used for women's clothing before. A holiday to the South of France watching the fishermen bringing in their nets gave us the now classic Breton striped top worn with rolled up trousers and flat pumps!!!
In 1925 she designed her signature cardigan jacket and the following year the Little Black Dress. She mixed fine jewellery with costume pieces, layered up her pearls and created one of the best selling fragrances of all time in 1922 with the launch of Chanel No 5 which still accounts for 70% of the market today!
Chanel closed her house at the outbreak of war only to open again in February 1954 aged 71!!!! And worked every day - walking from her suite at The Ritz to 31 Rue Cambon until her death in 1971.