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Mademoiselle Coco Chanel
Through her clothes, Chanel wanted to celebrate the freedom and equality of women. By playing with simple designs and typically ‘masculine’ fabrics, she offered an alternative to the more constraining women’s fashion at the time. By the mid-1920s, corsets were out; a popular ‘Chanel look’ had been adopted, consisting of a wool jersey suit with a full-cut, short skirt, and a straight, collarless jacket.
The designer herself was the embodiment of this new look. By using unconventional models and appealing to fashion magazines, the designer forced the fashion industry to accept her more masculine designs. She was no longer simply about creating stylish hats and designer threads. She had done something bigger – she had created a new way of life, and in so doing, laid the foundation for the coming women’s liberation.
However foolish it was, and however much business sense it didn’t make at the time, Mademoiselle Coco Chanel refused to follow the fashion trends dictated to her by the society in which she lived. Instead, she focused on designs that she would actually want to wear. Her influence and ability to impact new trends was soon unparalleled. A simple trip to Venice, Italy, in which Mademoiselle Coco Chanel wore bell-bottom trousers in order to be able to better climb out of the gondolas would soon start the pants revolution for women.
Everything that this designer did was meant to emphasize an alternative way of living. Much liker her simpler style of dress, her celebrated Chanel No. 5 perfume was unique for its time. Not only was its name basic, but so too was the design of its bottle, with its rectangular lines and cut stopper. She would not have any of the ornate and romantic bottles so popular at the time.
“I did not go into society because I had to design clothes,” she once remarked. “I designed clothes precisely because I did go into society. Because I was the first to live the life of this century.”
It was with this legacy in mind that in 2001, under the direction of Karl Lagerfeld, the House of Chanel introduced Coco Chanel Mademoiselle. Known as the younger sister to the more grown-up fragrances, Coco Chanel Mademoiselle is aimed at the younger generation of independent fashionistas. It is described as, “A light sensual fragrance, a luminous sophisticated fragrance, a modern interpretation!”
Chanel was a woman ahead of her time. This younger fragrance is meant to provide the same sense of empowerment and freedom that the designer tried to infuse throughout her collection in her own time.
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