Chanel. What a story. She was a French orphan, and grew up to become the most influential fashion figure in the twentieth century. Before Chanel, women of the Belle Epoque wore corsets and clothes so highly structured that they could hardly get out of a carriage. Just in time for the automobile, Chanel invented sportswear, literally borrowing sporting clothes from her boyfriends, like sailor shirts, trousers and tweed jackets. She fashioned women's clothes out of wool jersey, which had previously been used for men's underwear.
|Chanel in the twenties|
Besides the clothes, she revolutionized the way women looked, popularizing the sun tan, bobbed hair, and red lipstick. She was a genius, a fashion designer who expressed the modern age in her work. Her clothes were natural and easy, and followed the line of the body. When you see photographs of Chanel, the clothes could practically be worn today. She is often pictured in a crewneck sweater, with pearls and cuffs piled on: she is a working woman in a sweater. Coco Chanel was living proof of her motto, "Fashion passes but style remains."