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Coco Chanel: Queen of Fashion

Today I decided to spend my Friday, staying in bed and watching films. 
Coco Chanel 2008 film is what I chose to watch and I was hooked, after watching the film I managed to go through various interviews and documentaries just to gain more information. 
Image Courtesy: Elle
Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel was the daughter of Jeanne & Albert Chanel. At the age of 31, Jeanne died and Albert Chanel could no longer take responsibility of Gabrielle and her sisters. They were sent to the convent of Aubazine. At the age of 18, Chanel was considered old to remain in Aubazine and moved to Moulins and worked as a seamstress. She learnt the art of sewing in Aubazine during the six years that she was there. Apart from that, she also took up singing in cafes. It was here that she met Etienne Balsan, a rich bachelor and soldier. At the age of 23, Chanel moved in with Balsan and became his mistress.

However, in 1909 she left him for Captain Arthur Edward Boy Capel, who was one of  Balsan’s friends. Chanel referred to him as, ‘the great luck of my life.’ Capel believed in Chanel’s skills and supported her. He financed Chanel’s first shop, ‘The House of Chanel’ (31 rue Cambon)

Capel & Chanel’s affair lasted nine years and even though he married Lady Diana Wyndham during 1918, he never completely cut off with Chanel. His death in a car accident during 1919 was considered to be one of the most devastating events in Chanel’s life.

Image Courtesy: Elle
Chanel started off by making her own simple hats. She wasn’t a fan of the giant hats worn by women at the time, and always wondered ‘how the brain would function in those hats?’
Coco Chanel changed fashion for women. She aimed at popularizing casual chic and comfortable wear during the World War Era. The standard corsets silhouettes and huge dresses were starting to disappear as her idea of style was slowly revolutionizing and taking over the fashion world. 
The french designer was known for her unique sense of style at the time, her determination and energy. Growing up into a life of poverty was considered to be one of the driving forces that encouraged her to achieve her ambitious goals.

Coco Chanel taught women that fashion is what you’re comfortable in, without comfort; elegance can’t be accomplished. She set the perfect example for women at the time, that they too can be independent and not have to rely on a man. 
After launching her first collection and selling hats to the upper class women, she managed to make enough money to pay back Capel as she considered herself to be an independent self sufficient woman. 
Chanel believed in simplicity & comfort. The big, extravagant dresses with details on them were considered to be the great fashion of the 20th century, however, they did not provide comfort or allow women to move freely. Chanel managed to create comfortable yet chic outfits and even though great fashion designers of the time criticized her for this, the women loved it. They loved that they could move freely, feel comfortable and still look chic.

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