Find Your Style Inspiration in Fashion Icons
These famous designers’ principles are as fresh as they are timeless.
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (1883 to 1971)
Then: Yes, Coco Chanel is famous for fostering the little black dress. But an even more revolutionary concept sprang from the French designer: that women’s clothing should be as easy to wear as men’s. “Chanel felt a woman needed to look like a woman but live like a man,” says Eddie Bledsoe, an associate professor at Otis College of Art and Design, in Los Angeles. Rebelling against corset-bound fashions, she devised simple tailored garments, adapting menswear to the female body and introducing pants to the fairer sex. Balancing the masculine feel with something soft, like a silk blouse, she would layer on jewelry of delicate opulence. The result: a pared-down elegance that offered women a new way of dressing―and freedom.
Now: Menswear-influenced pieces, like wide-leg trousers, gain a distinctly feminine aspect when teamed with a frilly blouse. And don’t hesitate to pile on the pearls―quintessential Chanel.