Tuesday, March 8, 2011

the c word

This collection is perfect. Absolute perfection. Agree or disagree with that statement all you want. To me it is perfect. It's the perfect amount of grit and grunginess mixed in with the classic Chanel look. Totally Grungey Grandma which is my favorite! Can that be a thing? It is a thing.

I just completed a 4,000 word final paper for my History of Fashion class about female gender roles & progression in the 1920'a and how it was reflected in fashion. It's impossible to leave out Coco Chanel when it comes to discussing 1920's fashion. This was a time of social change for everyone, especially women. The styles were radically changing and women started to embrace a more boyish, shapeless and comfortable look (also known as the 'garconne look'). Coco Chanel took this idea and ran with it and obviously the brand has remained at the top since then. Her main design theory was to create 'fashion without shackles'. The Chanel brand was built on the idea of giving women designs that are feminine and beautiful but convenient and comfortable that will allow them to live their lives and not be held back like the generations before them (with corsets and other restrictive garments).

Today in class, we got to look at various pieces (both vintage and contemporary) up close (but no touching or else all fashion hell would break loose) from Ralph Rucci, Vera Wang, Bill Blass, Max Mara, Michael Kors, John Galliano and Chanel. The Chanel piece was from a time when Lagerfeld embraced extremely clinched waists, corsets and 'restrictive' styles. He was straying away from what Coco Chanel built her design house on. The more I learn about the origins of Chanel, the more I appreciate it when I see designs like this collection. It's a throwback to the original Chanel garconne look of the 1920's mixed in with where women's fashion is going in 2011. It's rough around the edges but still classic. This collection is absolutely fashion without shackles. I can almost feel a bit of a Lanvin, Alexander Wang and Rick Owens' inspiration. I love you Lagerfeld, you crazy bastard.