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Coco Chanel’s 133rd Birthday

 Coco Chanel’s birthday was on August 19 and this is 5 significant facts about her.

coco chanel birthday

1. The Jacket

coco chanel jacket illustration

“Fashion fades only style remains the same”

In 1954 Chanel designed the famous jacket at the age of 71 years old. Elegance, movement, and minimalism were the goals when she designed this jacket. Chanel fell in love with tweed on her visit to Scotland, which is the basis of the jacket. There are 4 real pockets, 5 buttons stamped with the signature house logo (sometimes a lion head or the interlocking C), and a chain lining the inside to keep the jacket in perfect shape. It’s been 62 years to date since then and yet this jacket is still a classic and stylish piece.

2. Camellia

camilia_animation_V2Chanel’s favorite flower. It was rumored that the gardens of the Aubazine, the orphanage in which she spent most of her childhood in, had white camellias and the special flower had stuck with her since then. The camellia was first used on her hats and later on jewelry and dresses. The camellia is pure, simple, but yet so beautiful and Chanel incorporated the use of this flower into her designs so seemlessly. Over the years, we could see many different creative ways a camellia could be worn. It is an essential accessory of Chanel.

3. The Bag

flap_bag_animationChanel wanted a bag that would free her hands, so she designed the famous shoulder bag that used chains inspired by the military in 1929. She later redesigned the bag in February of 1955, which got its name 2.55 from the date. The original bag did not have the interlocking double Cs as it was redesigned later on by Karl Lagerfeld when he took over as the head of design in the 1980s. The original lock is called the “The Mademoiselle Lock”. Every piece of detail inside and outside of the bag has its own story that resonates the Chanel story, such as the zippered compartment in the front flap that was rumored where she stored her love letters. And the use of burgundy red inside reminded Chanel of the uniform color she used to wear at the orphanage in the Aubazine.

4. The No.5 Perfume

perfumeChanel created her own perfume line with a perfumer Earnest Beaux in a laboratory in Basse. Beaux prepared her over 10 samples in glass bottles arranged randomly and attached a number to each bottle. Chanel started from the last bottle and ascended to the fifth one where she stopped. She was in love with the 5th sample at first sight and named it Number 5. Chanel purposely released her perfume on the fifth day and the fifth month of 1921. The bottle design was done by Chanel and the inspiration drew from The Parisian Square.

5. The Number 5

no5_animation_V2_lowres

“Wind, earth, fire, water, and most important of all, spirit. Five is the most sacred number in the firmament.”

Her lucky number and her inspiration. It is the smallest detail, but also one of the most important one, used in all of the Chanel clothing and jewelry. It is used subtly, such as the number of pearls that were embellished on the shoes and the number of buttons on the Chanel jacket. It’s one of the most important essences of Coco Chanel and the legend that she had left behind.

My fascination for arguably the world’s famous couturier began when I read one of the books dedicated to her by C.W Gortner called Mademoiselle Chanel: A novel. Although her past had been known to be a mystery, I was inspired by her humble beginnings; she was not born into a wealthy family, as a matter of fact, she had no parents and was an orphan. She was self-created and self-taught. Her success was not achieved overnight but was a long journey with a heartbreaking love story between her and Boy. She changed the way women were supposed to dress in her time and made them stylish, free of restrictions to move and work. “Before she liberated women, she liberated herself.” She freed her mind from conventions and rules and created her own that were later loved by many others. She did not follow, she created. She had a tremendous amount of talent, and she grasped onto opportunities with courage and absolute determination. Chanel influenced not just my sense of style, but also my perceptions of design to stay simple and elegant, and not to over think. The Coco Chanel era is my favorite part of this legendary brand. 

rue31

XOXO
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2 Responses
  • Joelle
    08 . 20 . 2016

    Truly a captivating post! I had no idea she was an orphan!

  • Miss Sweet & Chic
    08 . 21 . 2016

    This was such a beautiful read!! I loved it, she certainly was an inspiration & still is. Absolutely beautiful artwork & your details are just perfect! Aw when you wrote about Chanel No. 5 it made me sad & happy since it was my beloved mom’s favorite perfume, she never wanted anything else 🙂 Awesome post! Xoxoxo

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