Today, known only
as Chanel, the House of Chanel denotes elegance, class and a
style, developed over time, that revolutionized the dress of
the modern woman.
Chanel (1883-1971) was born to working parents, but as life
has other plans at times, Gabrielle (age 12) and her two
sisters ended up in a religious convent and orphanage. Her
mother had passed away and her father just couldn't handle 5
children, so the girls were sent to the orphanage and the
boys shipped off to be farm laborers.
From such humble
beginnings, but well trained in sewing at the orphanage,
Gabrielle went on to making it her mission to change the way
women dressed. She felt that women were wearing what men had
designed and she wanted women to change their relationship
with their bodies and their way of life, offering freedom
from corsets and the restricting underpinnings of her time.
Coco has been
quoted many times, but one of my favorites is "In order to
be irreplaceable, one must be different" and that is exactly
what she portrayed. Her personal style was neat, clean and
elegant. Shorter skirts and softer lines; her use of jersey
fabrics; the mix of fine jewelry with costume jewelry, and
two-toned shoes; are just a few of the revolutionary changes
that she made in women's fashion by just being herself!
invented the "little black dress", trimmed down the style of
hats, and invented the iconic boxy jacket. She was the first
designer to have perfume made for her, the famous and
everlasting Chanel N°5. Coco's legacy continues under the
lead of Karl Lagerfeld, keeping the House of Chanel on the
leading edge of style and elegance.
Gabrielle's Muse: An Elegant
Sautoir is a blend of
styles. Mixing the look of the long pearl necklaces and
mixed chains that were a standard iconic style of Coco's
personal style, my design flows from this inspiration right
into the art deco period.
A puffy square-shaped central
component with a beautiful CZ cushion cut nestled inside; an
open three-dimensional rectangular shape, and a puffy
square-shaped pearl drop make up the pendant. Pulling from
the design of the pendant, the chain is made of smaller
rectangles, squares and pearl cabochon links and worn long,
in the style of a sautoir. Coco said, "Keep your heels, head
and standards high", so I think she would be pleased.