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Chanel : The Story

Coco Chanel pseudonym for Gabrielle.

Coco Chanel was the pseudonym for Gabrielle Chanel, French couture designer who founded the Chanel brand.

Her name is included in Time Magazine’s list of the hundred most influential people of the twentieth century.

Creator of a line of casual, simple and comfortable clothing , she was also a designer of bags, perfumes, hats and jewelery. Chanel Nº5 perfume is representative among fragrances.

Today it is known as Chanel SA, or simply Chanel.

It specializes in luxury items, haute couture, bags, perfumes and cosmetics, among others.

The private company House of Chanel belongs to Alain Wertheimer and Gerard Wertheimer, who are the grandchildren of Chanel’s former partner, Pierre Wertheimer.

Chanel items carry the double C logo. The brand has become one of the most recognized in haute couture fashion.

Coco Chanel, a movie story

They say that her last words were: See? This is how you die. Until that day Coco Chanel made the difference.

It was on January 1, 1971 in her room at the Ritz, the maid heard her scream and when she went to see what was happening she found her crying and after saying those words she passed away.

Childhood

She died with a lot of money and public recognition, but her whole life was not like that. Coco Chanel was born in poverty on August 19, 1883, at the House of Charity in Saumur, France.

She was an illegitimate daughter and it was a nun who named her Gabrielle which in Hebrew means strength and power, and assures women to wear it with a lasting shine.

She had a tough childhood. A traveling father, a womanizer and abuser who made her mother work despite the asthma that drowned her.

They found her dead when Coco was 8 years old. She was handed over to the Roman orphanage in Aubazine with two of her brothers.

There she learned to sew, embroider by hand and iron impeccably and when she turned 18 she was transferred to Notre Dame, a religious boarding school where she stayed until she was 21.

Let the imagination fly

She started working as a seamstress and learned to make hats and had a short and unsuccessful singing career.

From that adventure she only got her pseudonym, Coco, the one that would bring her to fame and with which she will be remembered for ever and ever.

Despite the terrible story of the mother who suffered a lot for a man, it was also a man who changed Coco Chanel’s life.

A wealthy young man who took her to his castle despite having another mistress in the same place.

There she met luxury, servants, good food, salons, jokes and parties. She also learned horsemanship, how to behave like a lady, and how to express herself in manners to her guests.

But at the same time its original and innovative nature set new directions for it. She designed and ordered pants from the town tailor.

Coco Chanel and Paris, the beginning of a career.

Everything coincided with her visit to Paris, a city that dazzled her with its beauty. She began to think about designing, a desire that always beat her heart inside.

Aided by her lover and a friend she started her hat business. This went so well that in 1910 he opened his first Chanel Mansion at 21 rue Cambon.

She fell in love with Artur Chapel who had financed her hat shop and her hats began to be requested by the nobility, the ladies of society and the artists.

In 1913, Coco opened her first fashion house in the Deauville spa, an exclusive center for the aristocracy of the time.

She designed women’s clothing, simple and functional models, and eliminated corsets. Her style was a triumph and her earnings tripled.

Coco Chanel and the world of fashion

The first steps were only the beginning of a consolidated and fruitful career.

The First World War was the scene of her triumph. In July 1915 she opened a fashion house in Biarritz, where the great Spanish world went.

A year later she introduced comfortable fabrics such as the sweater, but stylish in the feminine dress.
Failure in her love life did not affect her creativity and boom.

She designed white satin pants that became very popular with clients and when the war ended, women’s liberation arrived, very in tune with her proposal: a simple and elegant style that was already prevailing from New York to Buenos Aires.

Disgusted, she cut her hair like a man, the women followed suit. She reconciled with her lover and made a leap from dressmaker to couturière. She bought a dark blue Rolls-Royce that she upholstered in black, a fact that set the trend for dark cars.

After the death of her lover in a car accident, she left the Mansion La Milanaise that she had bought before, to settle in the Bel Respiro villa in Garches.

She introduced the Chanel Suit and pulled the skirt up from the ankle to above the knee. She expanded his boutique from 31 rue Cambon to numbers 27 and 29, and opened a branch in Cannes, in 1921 launched her Chanel No. 5 perfume.

Her business flourished in the midst of the chaos of the 1929 crisis. A resounding success that was due to versatile and washable materials tailored to the time at hand.

Coco Chanel means success and consecration of life for a profession

Coco survived all the hard times, the truncated loves, the impossibility of having children.

She had many lovers and those who did not abandon her died in tragic and painful situations.

Something that stood out in her life was the fact of her growing success. After the perfume, its various fashion houses, in 1931, Coco was hired by MGM.

For this contract they paid her a million dollars to travel twice a year to Hollywood to dress movie stars.

There she met Greta Garbo, Gloria Swanson, Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn. She met Stravinsky, Picasso, Dalí and all her fame and glamor did not save her from the accusations of being a Nazi.

She was interrogated for 10 hours and then left Paris, she went to Switzerland. Her return to France was in 1954 when she was 71 years old, still with the strength to undertake the reopening of his fashion house.

She was an old woman of 80 years old and her perfume was still number one in sales and although she was a millionaire, she was still working.

Coco Chanel marked the world of fashion until today

Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, not only changed the way of dressing and wearing clothes, but also added a new concept of elegance.

Although it has been a long time since then, the elements that made it fashionable still mark fashion in some way and give a fresh and novel touch to the image of whoever wears them.

One of the outfits that are still very fresh is the so-called LBD or Little Black Dress with a heart-shaped neckline. It was this, without a doubt, the waist that made Coco Chanel famous.

It was not accepted the first time because black was a color only worn by widows, but little by little women were accepting it, a dark and elegant touch, in addition to simple, highlighted all the feminine attributes.

Coco also imposed the two-tone shoes. To her way of seeing it, a woman prevailed by the way of treading and this she did with the soulier, one of the most famous shoes in the entire history of fashion.

They were two- tone beige and black shoes. In this way it could combine with many dresses and at the same time it provided an optical effect that lengthened the leg. Although at that time it was fashionable to wear heels Chanel opted for the lows and succeeded again.

The Chanel jacket was another of the garments that has forever marked the world of fashion. The “tweed” was brought from Scotland by the French designer as a key fabric for her famous costumes.

It is true that it is based on men’s fashion, but with it it was achieved that women could have freedom to move and at the same time be very comfortable.

The jacket bears the name of its creator and today, the “tweed” jacket remains a constant of the brand in each season. It is considered one of the garments that never go out of style.

Chanel was one of the first to bet on women’s pants. Always with the bet on comfort and freedom.

It must be remembered that she did not invent them, nor was she the first woman to use them, but she gave them that feminine touch that they needed and implanted their use throughout the world.

Another accessory Chanel imposed was the extra long pearl necklace. Despite being in fashion since the 1920s, it continues in Chanel’s designs collection after collection.

Channel No.5, a unique fragrance

Chanel No. 5 is one of the world’s best-known perfumes, created in 1921 by Ernest Beaux.

The name of the perfume is due to the fact that Beaux created 10 samples and Coco Chanel chose 5 that contained aldehyde and essences of bitter orange blossom, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, vanilla and vetiver, among others.

Coco designed the packaging, a sober, rectangular and timeless glass bottle.

Famous women have participated in perfume advertising campaigns. They included Carole Bouquet, Catherine Deneuve, Audrey Tautou, Nicole Kidman, K eira Knightley and Marilyn Monroe. Brad Pitt was and is the only male face of the perfume to date.

In 2008 the perfume was reversed as Chanel No. 5 eau de Premiere is softer in citrus essences.

The base contains vetiver bourbon and vanilla and its top notes are composed of Ylang Ylang, aldehydes and neroli. The heart ones are made of jasmine and rose.

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