Channeling Chanel

November 22, 2012

If Fashion was a country, Chanel would be its reigning King. This is not just a luxury brand we are talking about, it is so much more. It is a look, a lifestyle, an image. Every tweed jacket, every cap toe shoe, every quilted hand bag looks Chanel. Details such as a gold chain strap, pearls, off-white and black contrast, no matter how broad and how universal, never fail to remind of the brand. Expending to perfumes, make up, sunglasses, the list goes on…what was once a mere clothing brand became a luxury empire, a house hold name. As a designer, it is impossible not to get inspired by such clear vision and direction.

Most women get a jolt of desire as soon as they see the CC logo. I know I sure do! I remember getting my first Chanel handbag, and the feeling of owning a piece that made me feel lady-like, almost like owning a masterpiece, something that will always have value, always look timeless and classic.

Two years ago, I was lucky enough to assist one of their shows in Paris, and I was so wowed by all of it, it made me super emotional. Karl Lagerfeld is a master and continues to amaze fashion lovers around the world season after season.

What Coco Chanel did for fashion is undeniable. She was one of the rare female entrepreneurs of her time; she practically put women in pants, and brought knit jersey to ready to wear. However, I have to say that while researching her this week, I found out she was also a despicable individual: she is said to have been an informant for the Gestapo, a notorious racist and Jew hater. I was beyond disappointed when I found this out! I am such a fan of Chanel, the brand, its legacy, but I was very let-down by Coco the woman. Can we separate the Art from the artist? This question might be a little heavy and philosophical for a fashion blog!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa November 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Enjoyed reading this piece!! Didnt know about Coco, quite disapointed!! will never think of Chanel the same way!
Thanks for sharing!

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Gabi P November 25, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Chanel is own today by The Wertheimer’s (3rd Generation own it) which are prominent Jewish family. Pierre Wertheimer was her original partner and co founder of Chanel business. The family has full ownership today.

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Elisa November 26, 2012 at 2:46 am

That is why I continue to love Chanel…It is still disappointing to find out that a women I admire for her creativity, innovation and talent was a Nazi collaborator and anti-Semite.

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Ed April 7, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Love your blog neighbor. Fabulous family shot. Keep on writing fashionista!

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