The Woman Who Changed the Style of the World

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The term “The Little Black Dress,” the fragrance “Chanel No. 5,” the Chanel suit with its soft, cardigan-like jacket and skirt, have become part of the timeless fashion vocabulary familiar to us all. From our perspective, these aspects of modern fashion hardly seem revolutionary, but Coco Chanel was a businesswoman who became successful by adopting fashion to the evolving role of women in a rapidly changing wartime society; her vision that left a legacy which endures to this day.

To understand the role of Coco Chanel as a fashion revolutionary, it is important to understand the era that she lived in and how the world of fashion differed from the one we know today. In first span of the 1900s, stylish women desired dresses for just about anything they could think of, before noon dresses, afternoon dresses, evening gowns, and simpler dresses that were less occasion-specific. Even recreational and sporting activities such as skating, biking, and tennis playing required women to wear suits and corsets. The suits were jackets and very long skirts and were restrictive and uncomfortable, although very stylish ( During the 1900s clothes were made to show off women’s bodies

with idealized hourglass figures shaped by corsets. This trend in women’s clothing lasted through the 1920s (

Prior to the era of the twenties dressmakers earned a large amount of money by designing and producing these stylish clothes that were fitted for each individual. Dressmakers’ business consisted not only of designing and producing these expensive garments for women, who could afford their services, but also altering, repairing, cleaning, and reusing fabric and materials from older outfits to...

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...girl should be two things: classy and fabulous," Coco Chanel once said. Clothes remain to be manufactured in the similarity of Coco Chanel original works. Infinitely loved and treasured by the fashion industry that she contributed so very too addition as by the women who still wear them.

Works Cited

Wallach, Janet. Chanel: Her Style and Her Life. London: Mitchell Beazley, 1999. Print. "Fashion in the 1900s."

The A. & L. TIROCCHI DRESSMAKERS PROJECT. Web. 06 Nov. 2011. .

"Coco Chanel." Business Leader Profiles for Students. Ed. Sheila Dow and Jaime E. Noce. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 6 Nov. 2011. "The Philadelphia Inquirer Mirror, Mirror column." Philadelphia Inquirer [Philadelphia, PA] 12 Apr. 2011. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 6 Nov. 2011.
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