There is something impeccably beautiful about this French high fashion house; it is like no other. Every single Chanel piece is expertly crafted, exuding timelessness, elegance and femininity. Almost a century later, the luxury brand still captures Gabrielle Chanel's vision, "Chanel is above all a style. Fashion passes, style remains." The little black dress, tweed suit, quilted handbag with gold chain, costume pearls, two-tone pumps and rouge lipstick remain as iconic as they did in the 1900's, seamlessly managing to embody a contemporary edge. Her use of clean lines, a monochrome palette and traditional fabrics: tweed, wool, silk, jersey, cotton and leather, remain at the forefront of Chanel's designs, whilst incorporating modernity through accents of colour, statement embellishments, new cuts and different textures.
"Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance." - Gabrielle Chanel
Gabrielle Chanel's ability to create functional, simplistic, yet chic garments is unprecedented. She stripped back the excessive decoration, frills and fuss and created well-constructed staple pieces, namely the tweed suit and the infamous little black dress. She also revolutionised the typical restrictive 'corseted' silhouette of the time, drawing on masculine influences such as trousers and placing an emphasis on comfort.
"A beautiful dress may look beautiful on a hanger, but that means nothing. It must be seen on the shoulders, with the movement of the arms, the legs, and the waist." - Gabrielle Chanel
In addition to its quintessential classic couture, the interlocking C's boast further desirability through their exclusivity. Chanel is very selective about where its creations can be purchased and through which platforms. Even in today's modern world, the fashion house continues to sell its clothing through its boutiques, choosing not to enter the world of e-commerce, but to promote a tangible, sophisticated and distinctive experience. The luxury brand strives to preserve its bespoke service, whereby consumers can fully indulge in the world of Chanel, engaging their senses: discovering the different textures and feeling and viewing the garments on their skin.
"A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future." - Gabrielle Chanel
Chanel's fragrance and beauty collection is no less desirable than its clothing and accessories. The packaging is as flawless, timeless and luxurious as her signature tweed suit. Opulent black lacquered compacts with white and gold monogrammed Chanel logos and clean-cut crystal perfume bottles adorn the beauty counters, the essence of Gabrielle Chanel present in every single one. The most iconic of them all is Chanel No.5, one of the bestselling perfumes of all time. 95 years on and its design still remains almost untouched in its rectangular shaped translucent glass bottle with amber coloured liquid and black and white label. Her practical, simplistic, avant-garde approach to fashion, uninhibited by the structured bodice, is reflected in the shape of the bottle. Her strength and determination to change the face of style resonates in the label, being the first designer to brand perfume with her own name. Furthermore, Gabrielle Chanel was the first to use synthetic ingredients in fragrance, creating a longer lasting, stable, unique and intense scent.
Unquestionably, Gabrielle Chanel is the most influential designer to have graced the fashion world.