I HEART CHANEL
Ever since I began studying fashion, I’ve always been a big fan of Chanel, the French luxury fashion house. Reading Vogue and many fashion magazines, I’ve always admired how Karl Lagerfeld created gorgeous pieces by honoring the signature details, from Gabrielle Chanel. From the chain details to the quilted handbags, the designs were reinterpreted for the modern day women. You always knew when a lady is wearing Chanel.
In honor of Paris Fashion Week, I’m kicking it off with a head-to-toe outfit inspired by Chanel’s in-house film, The Vocabulary of Fashion. You heard that right! Drippin’ in Chanel…..It doesn’t get anymore French fashion than that! So I collected all the pieces I own, with a few jewelry pieces borrowed from a friend and created this look.
The classic 2.55 handbag, born on February 1955 (hence the name of the bag), is the most iconic accessory piece Gabrielle Chanel ever created. Quilted diamond shape in lamb leather lined with burgundy, double C clasp and metal chain woven with leather were all the collective details from the original design. Since its creation, there has been many interpretations using different shapes, materials, embellishments and finishings.
Ever since I fell in love with fashion, I’ve dreamt of owning one. When I turned 32, I treated myself to a 2.55. To remind myself that I worked hard to earn this bag. I deserve it! An accessory I plan to keep and cherish for a long time. I even named her “Grace” for Grace Kelly, a leading star of the silver screen, because she exudes timeless beauty.
THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS
Drawing inspiration from the nunnery, where Gabrielle Chanel spent most of her childhood, a less constraint dress was the next level of Parisian chic. Though it took some time (like twenty years later) for French women to get rid of their corsets and adapt to this new silhouette. They finally appreciated the freedom they felt with their body.
Made in many different fabrics since, from jersey, tweeds to silk chiffon, the shape stayed consistent. Such as the dress I’m wearing, constructed with metallic black tweed, the shape is relaxed with ease created by knife pleats. Bow details were added on the shoulder for a feminine touch. The length finished right below the knee for modesty and enough to show some legs.
A piece I’ve owned for about a year and finally had a reason to write about it. It’s definitely a LBD I would wear to a cocktail party, a friend’s wedding or even a funeral.
The designer’s favorite flower and made it her emblem. It’s mostly used to adorn hats and shoes, usually made of cotton, silks, wools and tweeds. The shape of the flower were also printed, jacquard, painted and knitted onto garments.
On loan of this woven camellia brooch, with leather, pearl and double C rhinestone accents, I pinned it to the left side of my dress. It added dimension and texture, as though it could be part of the dress seamlessly. Such a gorgeous piece! (Thanks Bobbie!)
Another signature detail, usually made in metal, used inside of the jacket hems to hold the weight down and help keep the structure in tact. A clever way to construct a tailored jacket and add detail to the inside of garment. The beauty inside of the jacket is as beautiful as the outside.
The chain is also used in bracelets, necklaces, shoes and handbags. Other high end designers and mass market retailers has borrowed this detail for years. In my eyes, the original is always the way to go. Ain’t nobody can touch that!
THE TWO TONE SHOES
The designer created the two tone shoe to complete the ensemble with the nude part continuously elongating the woman’s leg. Capping it with black on the front toe to hide marks and to make the foot appear smaller. The same detail has been recreated to boots, pumps, flats and sneakers.
My version is the modern take on the classic shoe, using the same two tone beige and black colors. With an open toe, I’ve styled it with my signature fishnet anklets. I love this look! It adds a little sex appeal to my feet.
Always worn white pearls with black, Gabrielle Chanel decorates her body with endless strands. White pearls are a symbol of “good luck”, hence the many strands she wore. Pearls has also been used in recent collections to decorate garments, shoes and handbags. Karl Lagerfeld made sure to keep the legacy details throughout all their collections.
The original fabric from Scotland, used in jackets with fringe and braiding details. It is the only piece you’ll ever own that will “never go out of style”. A true fact! I’ve seen many interpretations of them, worn across socialites and fashion influencers. Each restyling their new piece from the recent runway shows, or ones from vintage shops. There are endless ways to wear them.
Someday I desire to own a classic tweed jacket like this one, from their 2017/2018 Mètiers D’Art Paris-Hamburg collection. SO FREAKING GOOD!
Gabrielle Chanel’s legacy lives on through the collections today, with hautè couture, ready-to-wear and accessories. A successful brand has their signature handwriting used consistently. In the last 35 years, “the magician” himself, Karl Lagerfeld successfully achieves just that.
” FASHION PASSES. STYLE REMAINS”
Photos by Jason Tang
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