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In light of my new dedication to French culture I am highlighting the French fashion icon, Coco Chanel. Coco was born as Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel in 1883. She revolutionized the fashion industry by going “back to basics”, incorporating elegance, class, and originality.Under her reign from 1909–1971, Coco Chanel held the title as ‘Chief Designer’ until her death on January 10, 1971.Beyond being a key designer of the 20th century, and leaving a lasting impression on women’s fashion she has become a role model for young modern women. As a style icon, her own lifestyle fueled her ideas of how modern women should look, act and dress. With her career as a designer she marketed her own personal attitudes and styles and made her financial independence and active lifestyle popular.

When France declared war on Germany in 1939, many designers fled but Chanel stayed and endured, her future uncertain. After she reopened her doors she set out to reinvigorate women’s fashion, but this mission was met with many obstacles. At nearly 70 Chanel was competing with such designers as Christian Dior and had difficulty securing financial investments. Chanel’s comeback collection of couture debuted in 1953 and Although it was a critical disappointment, the designer persevered. Three seasons later, Chanel was enjoying newfound respect. She updated her classics, re-imagining the classic tweed designs until distinguished women were lining up at her showroom. The Chanel suit became a status symbol for a new generation and remains to be the mark of a classy and established woman. Coco Chanel will forever live on as a determined, talented and highly respected fashion idol.

Coco Chanel Pre-Fall (Now designed by Karl Lagerfeld)

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The house of Chanel remains true to the ideas of Coco while incorporating fresh designs that continue to celebrate French culture. The mix of whimsy and sophistication that Chanel brings to fashion is unparalleled. Below is the current Chanel No. 5 short film complete with the romance, refinement, elegance, and classic style one would expect.

CHANEL NO. 5

The famous Marilyn Monroe Chanel No. 5 Ad

Coco ChanelFamous Quotes

* “Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.”
* “Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.”
* “I wanted to give a woman comfortable clothes that would flow with her body. A woman is closest to being naked when she is well-dressed.”
* “Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.”

She was a woman of great prestige.
And in accordance with today’s theme, the featured artist will be French “It Girl” and superstar, Carla Bruni.

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