November 29, 2023

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How a Chanel jacket has continued to surprise for 100 years

How a Chanel jacket has continued to surprise for 100 years

The famous Chanel jacket is 100 years old. Old, but not worn out. On the contrary, since the Zaras and H&Ms of this world “honor” the jacket, the darling of princesses and pop stars also conquers the hearts of ordinary humans. What makes this perennial a coquettish chameleon that continues to surprise?

Katja Flerick

Kate Moss wears a burgundy blazer in Anine Bing’s fall campaign, and her daughter Lily Moss appears in an ultra-short light blue version in the Maje ads: the iconic blazer designed by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel is back. Copies – or “knock-offs” in TikTok parlance – are available in chains such as Mango, H&M and Zara, and in stores à la Liu Jo or Ba&sh. They can be hip-length or very short and range from black and gray to light blue and light pink. They have one thing in common: the so-called “bouclé” they are made of, which is a woven fabric with a surface of loops.

Actress Margot Robbie as Barbie in the film of the same name, head to toe in pink Chanel.Picture of an RV

The 2023 Chanel jacket in the movie is undeniably cool Barbie It was in no way a hoax. Chanel, which has been creatively led by Virginie Viard since Karl Lagerfeld’s death in 2019, has created several bright pink outfits for Margot Robbie as Barbie, including a new version of the Chanel suit worn by Claudia Schiffer on the Chanel catwalk in 1995. . Tom Erebout, jury member Belgium’s next top model And fashion designers Lady Gaga and Rita Ora, among others: “Barbiecore is definitely a trend that suits the Chanel jacket in 2023. But today’s young people love the 90s anyway, and the jacket revival also fits into this trend. The style is from a 90s movie ignorant It is very popular with Generation Z. It does not contain any Chanel suits, but many two-pieces. Today’s younger generation can also gain a lot of inspiration online from all kinds of online fashion archives, and then do it themselves.

For example, the Instagram account @chanel_archives is a popular source among Gen Z for 1990s fashion show photos, with Ariana Grande being its most famous follower. Other trends that Chanel’s jacket revival seems to fit nicely into this season: both the gaudy “bouclé” — the contrast between boyishness — “blockie” — sportswear with frivolous girlish skirts, and “quiet luxury,” which can include a bouclé jacket. In beige for a touch of “old money elegance” with wide trousers or a matching neutral coat.

Freed from the corset

American actress Ina Claire in 1924. Photo by Getty Images

American actress Ina Claire in 1924.Getty Images

The Chanel jacket, part of the equally iconic Chanel suit, will soon turn 100 years old. The first photo of her dates back to 1924 and shows American actress Ena Claire, wearing a tweed suit, with a skirt reaching just above the knee and flowing trousers. Hip length coat. The silhouette was perfectly in keeping with the “flapper dress trend” of that decade, but the fabric was a different ball game. The use of tweed in women’s clothing was something that no one had suggested to Coco Chanel. The designer fell in love with rough British wool textiles after she began an affair with Hugh Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster, with whom she loved to wear casual tweed clothing. Mia Dornaert, France expert and fashion enthusiast: “Coco Chanel created clothes for women who were active, but remained feminine and elegant. In times of war and scarcity, she turned necessity into a virtue by using cheaper fabrics like tweed, as well as the elastic shirt, which freed women from narrow waists and Belle Era corsets.” .

Tsar Karl

The success of the Chanel suit as we know it today can be traced back to the early 1960s: it was worn by actresses such as Romy Schneider and Brigitte Bardot, Princess Paola was a great supporter of ours, and in the US Jackie Kennedy. The pink Chanel suit she wore on November 22, 1963, when her husband, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated, is etched in the collective memory. After Coco Chanel’s death in 1971, the 1970s meant little to the “tailor,” as the Chanel suit was now popularly called. In 1966, Yves Saint Laurent launched “Le Smoking”, a suit for women: although, like Chanel, he was inspired by an androgynous silhouette, his designs contained a sensuality that Chanel lacked.

Jackie Kennedy and her husband, President John F. Kennedy, in 1963. Pictured at right

Jackie Kennedy and her husband, President John Kennedy, in 1963.Picture of an RV

Fast forward to the 1980s, the era of yuppies, bling and Karl Lagerfeld at the helm of Chanel. He made it a constant sport to reinvent the Chanel suit and jacket: they were given shoulder pads or shortened to boleros, came in crazy colors, were embellished with gold hip chains or were made of denim. Tsar Karl enjoyed himself very much. Tom Erbut: “For the after-party for the last Met Ball, which was entirely themed around Karl Lagerfeld, I dressed as Rita Ora Leather and chainsA look inspired by supermodel Linda Evangelista’s look in 1990. What Lagerfeld did at Chanel was actually just design: adding accessories and combining them cleverly.

Mia Dornert: “Lagerfeld arrived at the right time. Over the course of the 1960s, the tailor, whether real or fake, became bourgeois and boring. Lagerfeld was smart enough to make the typical jacket stand alone, and launch all kinds of versions of it. I have one from that period, of clothing Ready-to-wear. Soft white, classic hip-length cut, with four pockets and original Chanel buttons. Nearly forty years later, this is still a hit, especially when worn with skinny black leather pants and high heels.

Mia Dornert wears her Chanel preppy jacket.  Photo by Rebecca Fertinel

Mia Dornert wears her Chanel preppy jacket.Photo by Rebecca Fertinel

Black strappy bra

At the beginning of this millennium, Karl Lagerfeld made the Chanel jacket rock ‘n’ roll, and the Belgian group Vive La Fête was a big part of that. In 2002, Lagerfeld declared Else Pineau, frontwoman of the electro-punk band, as his muse. Vive La Fête played in several Chanel fashion shows that year. Else Pineau: “Karl Lagerfeld loved our music and our style. In Paris, he saw me perform wearing a bra I made myself from black ribbon, an idea I once had when our bags were left at the airport. Karl loved this kind of creativity.

The first collaboration between Lagerfeld and Vive La Fête included a hip shoot V magazine, where Pynoo wore a white Chanel jacket, with a long black leather skirt with ruffles. Dani Moomins, her other half with whom she founded the band, appeared dressed in black leather and jeans with kilos of makeup on her eyes and lips. Pinault: “I confess: until that moment I thought a Chanel jacket like this was appropriate for wealthy ladies. But I put it on and felt like a princess. It’s simply made to perfection: the silk lining has strings that make it fall beautifully.

Singer Els Pynoo with designer Tom Eerebout in a reproduction of the Vive La Fête photo shoot for V magazine. Photo by Rebecca Fertinel

Singer Els Pynoo with designer Tom Eerebout in a reproduction of the Vive La Fête photo shoot for V magazine.Photo by Rebecca Fertinel

Coincidentally, that photo in question is from Vive La Fête V magazine At that time it was hung in the boys’ room by Tom Erebout. “When I was a teenager in Bredin, I was a big fan of Vive La Fête. Their collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld was also my first introduction to the world of fashion: until then I knew nothing about designers. I recently posed for Dutch Numéro in a photo shoot for Marie Wynants, where I combined a slightly longer Chanel tweed coat with black latex.The Chanel jacket has a punk vibe precisely because it is very bourgeois: if you compare it with latex or makeup, you create a certain tension.

Els Pynoo received three Chanel jackets as a gift from Karl Lagerfeld, which are still hanging in her closet, neatly tucked under the cover. Benno: “I only take them out for special occasions, parties or receptions. Never perform.”

Fat contract

The person who cannot be seen on stage these days in a Chanel suit is Angel. The Belgian pop singer has signed a great contract with the fashion house and will be a Chanel ambassador for five years. At the Core Festival last summer, she appeared in a light blue Chanel minisuit, taken from an ad circa 1995: On trend With a 90s revival, but especially a reference to “Nonante-Cinq”, the title of Angèle’s last album and the year of her birth. Tom Erbut: “The look that Virginie Viard created for Angel is a girl-next-door look, very different from what Lagerfeld did at the time with Vive La Fête. But Chanel has both sides: on the one hand there is that rebellion, but on the other hand there is also this fascination with pure beauty.

The Chanel jacket is the centerpiece of today’s couture collection, but other luxury fashion houses also offer variations of the tweed jacket that look even more stunning. Watch Kate Moss for Anine Bing, who was even allowed to wear skinny jeans twenty years ago under a bouclé jacket, or Moschino, who intersects tweed tailoring with gothic cool this fall. There are now more copies of the famous jacket in shopping street chains than in previous years. “Most versions don’t appeal to me,” says Mia Dornert, “but a few years ago, I fell in love with a faux Chanel-like jacket in rough black with gold buttons at the Zara store on New York’s Fifth Avenue. I keep it dressy with a light pink blouse and flared pants, and casual with a T.” White t-shirt and jeans.

Pharrell Williams RV photo

Pharrell WilliamsPicture of an RV

Airbot: “The Chanel look is really successful It’s all about design And it’s actually easy to pull off: with jeans, a T-shirt, a blazer and pearls, you can style the blazer cool, dressy or casual for a family get-together or party. It is also thanks to its enormous diversity that it becomes real Basic wardrobe. This also applies to men: Pharrell Williams looked absolutely gorgeous in his Chanel jacket, complete with pearl necklaces. Dornert: “Recently, a hairdresser at the salon I go to respectfully handed me my jacket. ‘Fake Chanel, I love Zara,’ I reassured him. ‘Real style,’ he replied.

The success of the exhibition, which opened in September, demonstrates the appeal of Coco Chanel to the imagination Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion statement At the V&A Museum in London. The exhibition includes an installation of at least 50 Chanel suits, including a dirty pink suit that was once custom-made for American actress Lauren Bacall. Erbut: “I’ve noticed that since Karl Lagerfeld’s death I’ve become more interested in the Coco Chanel period: the 1930s, with Elsa Schiaparelli, who designed more eccentrically, is still an inspiring period. One of my first jobs was for Lady Gaga – I was still working as an assistant at the time – It was a photo shoot of Karl Lagerfeld in Coco Chanel’s apartment above the store on Rue Cambon in Paris. Just being there surprising: This place is an eclectic collection of books and things.

Dornert: “Fashion passes, style remains,” Coco Chanel often said, and this suits her perfectly. It is a phrase I always keep in mind when I get dressed.

Exhibition Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion statement It runs until February 28, 2024 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

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