Fashion in the 1920's

Coco Chanel

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"I make fashion women can live in, breath in, feel comfortable in and look younger in," Chanel said.

Coco Chanel: Before Becoming Famous

Coco Chanel was born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel on August 19, 1883. She did not have an easy childhood. Her mother died when she was a young girl and her father then put her in an orphanage. She learned how to sew by the nuns in the orphanage. After leaving the orphanage she had a brief career as a singer, where she earned the nickname, “Coco.”

How She Became Famous

After meeting Arthur Capel, together they opened her first three stores in Paris, Deauville and Biarritz. She soon started selling many of her designs, but it was until she launched her first perfume that her business started really succeeding. The perfume was called Chanel No. 5. Chanel was also known for creating the little black dress. She took the color black from being depressing and sad and turned it in something chic and fashionable. After a long, successful career as a designed, Coco Chanel died on January 10,1971. In a tribute to her life, many mourners wore Chanel suits.

Why She Is Important

Coco Chanel's career grew during the “roaring twenties”. This was a time when people were looking to become someone different, new and exciting, especially women.Chanel gave these women what they wanted, fashion without limits that society and fashion typically put on them. The roaring twenties was a time when women went from wearing clothing that was very conservative and covered all areas of the body, to dresses that were cut off at the knee and much more revealing.

Took Place In

Coco Chanel opened up her first store in Paris in 1913. Soon she opened other stores in Europe and then she became a world renowned fashion designer/businesswoman.

Coco's Accomplishments

Coco Chanel began her career in the early 1900’s, but the company really began thriving in the 1920’s-1930’s. She was able to take a fabric used mostly for mens underwear at the time (jersey) and use it to make stylish but very comfortable fashions for women. When she started her business, she didn’t have a ton of money, and jersey was cheap and easy to get, so that was part of the reason she used it. Women fell in love with it’s comfort and style. Coco Chanel was going beyond the limit and she went beyond opening a store making clothes and made her own perfume. She believed that perfume is living and breathing accessory of fashion that others can experience even before and after they have met the person. Coco Chanel’s career ended when she died in 1971, but the trends she created are still seen all over the fashion world. She was able to create comfortable day wear and also luxurious evening wear.

Coco - Inside CHANEL

How it Reflected on 1920's Fashion

Coco Chanel came on the fashion scene at a time when culture and fashion was becoming modernized. From the jersey fabric that she used to the famous “little black dress” that she designed, she was the fashion icon of that era. The fashion in the 1920s reflects how everything was changing so fast.Hemlines on 1920s dresses were rising quickly, one year mid-calf, the next year just below the knee.

Why is it significant

Coco Chanel popularized the trouser pant for women during World War I. She understood the importance of being comfortable, but said that “having 70% of women wearing trousers out to dinner was quite sad.” Coco Chanel made it popular to mixed fake pearls with a few gemstones. Before Coco, fake jewelry was thought to be for people less fortunate, but she used them to dress up her minimalistic style of clothes.

Did it have an impact on fashion

Coco Chanel created the very famous fragrance of Chanel No 5, which is still worn today.

Coco Chanel took the idea of a men’s suit and created what we know as “The Chanel Suit”, which consisted of a wool jacket, fitted sleeves, accompanied with a slim skirt. Jackie Kennedy was wearing a Chanel suit when her husband, President Kennedy was assassinated. She proved to the world that it doesn’t matter what your childhood looked like, with a lot of hard work and determination, you can make your dreams come true. Coco Chanel was one of the most influential fashion designers in the 20th century.

Hannah Baudin