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The House of Chanel

Updated on February 4, 2013

The House of Chanel --Since 1909

The House of Chanel originated in the year 1909 after a millinery shop was opened by Gabrielle Chanel at one-sixty Malesherbes Boulevard, the Parisian flat ground floor of Etienne Balson, textile business person and socialite, whom she had a relationship with.

The House of Chanel is a French high fashion house specializing in ready-to-wear and haute couture clothing, fashion accessories and luxury goods. As a young girl, Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, couturier had gained "Coco" as a soubriquet as her career path unfolded as a provincial France chanteuse de cafe.

As a designer of fashion in France, Coco Chanel catered to the taste and elegance of the taste of women with simply designed jewelry, dresses, trousers, suits and blouses which have replaced the accessories, constrictive clothing, over designed and opulent fashion of the nineteenth century.

Throughout history, the House of Chanel is quite known for the versatile stylistic Chanel Suit, perfume No. 5 de Chanel and the little black dress. As an enterprise of business, Chanel SA is a company that is privately held and owned by the grandsons of Chanel's early partner of business Pierre Wertheimer. His grandsons were Gerard Wertheimer and Alain Wertheimer.

The House of Chanel brands commercially have been depicted by actresses and fashion models including women such as Marilyn Monroe, Keira Knightly, Audrey Tatou, Anna Mouglalis, Nicole Kidman, Vanessa Paradis, Carole Bouquet, Catherine Deneuve and Ines de la Fressange.

As a couturier, the dressmaker and milliner Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel established and presented new costume designs and clothing promoting women from being objects of sexual display and conspicuous consumption to being people who wore comfortable clothing allowing movement that was free and who dressed for themselves.

One technical innovation making the clothes affordable and popular was the jersey fabric. Fashion has been revolutionized by Chanel pret-a-porter and haute couture replacing the fashions that were structured silhouettes based on the bodice and the corset with simply designed garments that were confected and cut to aesthetically enhance the figure of the woman and to be functional.

In the twenties, the Chanel designs of simple lines made flat chested popular fashion the opposite of the restrictive hourglass figures of the latter part of the nineteenth century.

Besides being more comfortable, the functional and stylish Chanel clothes were complemented by jersey fabric's suppleness, allowing twentieth century women to practice and live a lifestyle which was active. Fashion designer Coco Chanel, color wise used masculine traditional colors including navy blue and grey connoting character boldness.

The House of Chanel clothes are known also for leather trimmings and quilted fabrics. The garment's quilted construction reinforced the finish, design and fabrics, producing garments that confect to maintain its function and form in all circumstances.

One example is the woolen suit of Chanel, which is a skirt that is knee-length and a jacket cardigan style, decorated and trimmed with gold coloured buttons and black embroidery. The accessories that were complementary are jewelry and 2-tone pump shoes, a leather handbag and a pearl necklace.


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    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 

      6 years ago

      Very chic hub on Chanel. Always had a special allure and classic magic in their mix. Thank you Elle64 Voted up and interesting.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Channel is fascinating and you did a good job.


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