Coco Chanel already said: ‘Simplicity is the keynote of all accurate elegance’ — and the acclaimed French artist consistently lived up to this dictum.
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So what is it about the clothes Chanel fabricated that abide to accomplish them so adorable that women can absorb a lifetime absent annihilation else?
In essence, it is their timelessness. The designs accept an abiding quality, so a dress bought as a adolescent woman will still adulate you decades later.
It’s article we should all accede today, in a apple at the benevolence of cheap, disposable fashion.
For most, the clothes ability assume abundantly expensive, but those who buy them apperceive they are advance in a lifetime of abrasion and an accouterments that sings with the signature of aces craftsmanship.
It takes 100 hours to accomplish one Chanel clothing and a 1,000 to accomplish a bells dress. Chanel herself would alone accord six accessories for a simple night dress.
For Chanel, the cut was everything. Her clothes had to accomplish women feel bigger and attending sensational.
The able seamstresses are still based on the high floors of 31 Rue Cambon. Her allegorical showroom, below, is a allowance steeped in history, area approved audience accept their claimed board mannequins.
But there is annihilation airless about her archetypal designs. Afresh and again, she emphasised the abstraction of elegance, twinned with wearability.
‘Dress shabbily and they bethink the dress; dress impeccably and they bethink the woman,’ she’d say.
Keira Knightley cutting a Chanel white applique couture clothes to the premiere of Misbehaviour aftermost ages was accustomed a brilliant affection that was dazzling.
The dress, bright white adjoin the aphotic atramentous March sky, was authentic Chanel colouring, yet the extra was chargeless to move in whatever administration she chose.
In my book, Chanel’s Riviera, there is a photograph of Coco Chanel continuing in the garden of her alcazar La Pausa on the Riviera.
She wears a brace of fleet trousers and a dejected and white striped jersey top.
It is a snapshot taken in 1930 but it could accept been taken bygone back those stripy acme are commonplace today.
As a adept Coco Chanel aficionado, I accept that this is because of the rules that Chanel herself followed all her life.
A accurate originator, she was assured — never common by what had gone afore but bent to accord women clothes that absolutely ill-fitted their lives.
Her 2.55 checky covering backpack with covering and bizarre accept strap, a aperture for lipstick and a abstruse alcove that she said was advised for adulation letters.
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Or the Little Atramentous Dress, one of her abounding ability to fashion, breaking not alone the ascendancy of colour but a amusing anathema afresh accounting in stone.
Until then, atramentous had been alone for mourning: if a woman wore a atramentous dress, it consistently meant that accession abutting to her had died.
It took Chanel to realise that a well-cut atramentous dress could be a apparel staple. The aspect of a Chanel garment, new or vintage, is its timelessness.
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Her clothes are advised to be beat afresh and afresh — and afresh to be anesthetized on. Her designs are advance pieces, with a bazaar bulk all of their own.
As the allegorical editor of American Vogue, Anna Wintour, said recently, we should bulk the clothes we own and abrasion them afresh and again.
‘And,’ she added, ‘maybe accord them on to your daughter, or son, whatever the case may be.’ For as Coco Chanel herself said: ‘Fashion changes but appearance endures’.
Here, we accommodated four women who accept spent a lifetime accession pieces by the allegorical designer.
I WAITED 25 YEARS FOR THE BAG OF MY DREAMS
Popsy Kundi, 47, is arch of administration for Chiswick Bargain house. She lives with accomplice Francis Henry, who owns his own acreage agency, in Wembley Park, London.
Popsy Kundi whose Chanel accumulating is worth £20,000
Collection value: £20,000.
When I was 17, I went to Paris on a academy trip. We did the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre but the affair that best afflicted me was seeing all the alluringly dressed ladies abrogation a boutique on rue Cambon.
It was the Chanel boutique and it was adorned with the best amazing atramentous accessory bags. I bethink falling in adulation with them and thinking: ‘That’s the bag I want.’
But my bound account back I was adolescent meant that my accession to Chanel began with make-up, afresh skincare. I accelerating to jewellery and belts but my appearance aesthetics has consistently been that a attractive backpack — decidedly Chanel — can transform a High Street outfit.
I started affairs Chanel clothes about ten years ago and now I apparently accept about 30 things, including belts and jewellery, in my collection.
I accept a atramentous bouclé jacket, a atramentous suit, but my best big-ticket allotment is a new accession — a gold best accessory bag (left) which bulk £4,500. There’s annihilation absolutely like the feel of cutting Chanel.
When I acclaimed my 40th altogether in Claridges, I wore top-totoe Chanel and acquainted as admitting I was walking on air. I never forgot the atramentous accessory bag I’d apparent in Paris all those years ago and, back I started alive for the bargain abode bristles years ago, I was abashed to see it appear up for sale.
I said to my partner: ‘I accept to accept that bag’ — and bid for it. I won it for £1,500. It is by far the best admired account I accept — and while I’ve awash some pieces to accomplish allowance for others, I apperceive I will never allotment with it
I BOUGHT CHANEL WITH MY FIRST PAY CHEQUE
Betsy-Blue English, 22, is an extra and appearance designer. She lives in Chiswick, West London.
Betsy Dejected English, a 22 year old extra with a Chanel accumulating worth £10,000
Collection value: £10,000.
There is no added cast like Chanel. While others dip in and out of fashion, Chanel charcoal around-the-clock and I’ve been bedeviled by it for years. I couldn’t say how abounding pieces I accept in my accumulating but it includes clothes, bags, shoes and sunglasses.
My affection started back I acclimated to appointment ancestors accompany in Beverly Hills as a child. It’s the affectionate of abode area accouchement get their Chanel bag at the age of bristles — and one of our accompany had a apparel abounding of it.
I bethink seeing ladies arcade in Rodeo Drive with their Chanel handbags and I dreamed of accepting my own. Finally, back I was 16, I was able to buy one. I acclimated my aboriginal pay cheque from an acting job and I bought a ablaze blah lambskin bag for £1,500.
It was the best heart-fluttering moment of my life. Three years later, I was in Harrods back a adult chock-full me, admired the bag and said she’d buy it there and then.
I was a little abashed but went home and did some analysis and the bag had tripled in value. So I awash it.
I was a little sad to say goodbye to my aboriginal anytime Chanel bag but I’d consistently been afraid about accepting it dirty. Now, I consistently buy atramentous bags.
Since then, I’ve bought and awash abounding pieces through Artist Exchange, generally for bifold or amateur the bulk I’ve paid for them.
I accumulate an eye on the new collections and put money into my ‘Chanel Fund’ every month.
I’VE GOT SO MUCH OF IT I’VE LOST COUNT!
Luna de Casanova is a above archetypal and appearance commentator, who is in her backward 40s. She lives in Central London with her two whippets, Bertie and George.
Luna de Casanova will acquaint us how abundant she loves Chanel but not how abundant she’s spent
Collection value: you guess!
Growing up in Madrid, women dressed conservatively and bought selectively. Unless you were wealthy, you adored to buy an accouterments or handbag, which you would afresh use for the blow of your life.
The aboriginal allotment I bought was in Tokyo, age-old 17, while alive seven canicule a anniversary as a model. I was acceptable blah but afresh saw a archetypal atramentous and gold Chanel backpack in a shop.
I bought it for £1,000 the abutting day and never complained about continued hours again! My favourite is a bittersweet covering and brim from the Autumn/Winter 2014 haute couture collection.
It was a allowance from a baby acquaintance so I don’t apperceive the cost. My abutting favourite is a dress beat in the Spring-Summer 1995 appearance by Linda Evangelista.
I best it up at auction, and although it is too ample for me, I would never accord it up. Accepting said that, I try not to accumulate clothes that I don’t wear, giving them to accompany and family.
MUM PASSED ON HER GREAT LOVE TO ME
Dr Tess Hartmann CBE, 50, is a baron who lives in London. She is affiliated with four children.
Dr Tess Hartmann in head-to-toe Chanel acquired her adulation of the cast from her mother
Collection value: £20,000
My adulation of Chanel began with my mum. She grew up in a banal domiciliary in Glasgow, but later, forth with my father, set up in business and became successful.
When she aboriginal fabricated her money, the aboriginal affair she capital to absorb it on was abundant affection clothes — and her idol was Coco Chanel.
I accept a addicted bond of her cutting a admirable circumscribed red bouclé blazer for my bells 23 years ago.
She anesthetized abroad six years ago and her accumulating of blazers and handbags came to me. Unless you were a connoisseur, you’d never apperceive if I’d bought them bygone or decades ago.
I bought my aboriginal Chanel for my bells going-away accouterments — a atramentous miniskirt and circumscribed atramentous blazer with white trim. It bulk about £800 but I was added aflame about affairs it than the bells dress!
The brim is now a little bound but I can still fit into the jacket. My accumulating runs to 50 pieces, including shoes and bags. I’d rather buy aloof one key allotment a year as I apperceive it’s consistently activity to be in style.
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