I have always loved pearls. Of all my mom’s jewellery which comprised of several precious stones like diamonds, rubies and sapphires, I asked when I was 18 if she could give me her 2 strings of pearls. She said yes, a little of surprise, but of course.
Little did I know that 100 years before there existed a woman loved pearls and gained worldly fame for her love of the simple off-white round sea-jewel. But she was not just known for her jewellery; she was a fashion rebel and a revolutionary.
Gabrielle Chanel (known affectionately as Coco Chanel) is an icon and a freedom fighter for women of her time. She single-handedly freed women at the turn of 20th century from the restrictive corsets, multi-layer undergarments, long-sweeping dresses and over-frilled hats. Chanel was so visionary she defied all conventions of her day to use men’s undergarment (jersey) for women’s clothes. She emphasised simplicity and comfort above the restraints of decadence and opulence. Women were free to wear pants, loose blouses and dresses, marking the start of the age of Jazz that is the 1920s (think the Great Gatsby).
Her most famous invention, copied, redesigned, reused by the world over, is her little black jacket. A simple jacket that can make a girl feel so comfortable and at the same time ravishingly stylist. Long before Audrey Hepburn popularised the little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, there was Chanel who invented the woman in black.
I am forever in debt to a woman whom I have never met. But I am fortunate enough to witness the rise of her empire which she built out of nothing that still stands strong amidst the storms and winds of the financial world 100 years since she started it. Long live Chanel.
Thank you for reading. Have a great weekend.
Top: vintage Chinese-style top, Skirt: H&M ( retailed £39.90), Belt: as above, Shoes: 2nd-hand from a vintage shop in Morningside Edinburgh (retailed £5)
Detachable Collar (sale £3), Top: Vila (on ASOS sale £16), Bottom: Bullhead Black (sale £5) , shoes: Charles & Keith (sale £39.90)