Rules of Style – Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel
Where would women’s fashion be without Coco Chanel? Certainly it would be a bit different, maybe a little less confident and certainly a lot less comfortable.
With her attention to expensive simplicity, Chanel began by creating clothing for women out of jersey – unheard of at the time, and by 1919, Chanel’s name was well-known in the minds of those who knew fashion as she established her now famous maison de couture at 31 rue Cambon in Paris.
The classic Chanel No.5 scent was created in 1921 to embody a scent ‘which smells of a woman’ and continues to remain one of the most popular scents in the world. While Karl Lagerfeld now mans the fashion house of Chanel, Coco’s inspiration is never ignored (resort 2012, spring couture 2011, fall couture 2010/11) .
The Rules of Style list just wouldn’t be complete without paying homage to a woman who’s determination, grit and frank approach to living life on her terms inspires me and so many others regularly. While many people deem her life unconventional, for that very reason, I applaud her. Life is meant to be lived in such a way that is not in following, but in offering our talents and abilities to the world. Gabrielle Chanel certainly did that and left behind a legacy that can be seen nearly everywhere in the fashion world and elsewhere.
Here are a collection of favorite quotes and images that exhibit her classic style and matter-of-fact observations.
“To achieve great things, we must first dream.”
“How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.”
"My life didn't please me, so I created my life."
“Success is often achieved by those who don`t know that failure is inevitable.”
"Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony."
"It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him. … I’m neither smart nor stupid, but I don’t think I’m a run-of-the-mill person. I’ve been in business without being a businesswoman, I’ve loved without being a woman made only for love. The two men I’ve loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice."
“I don`t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that`s the day she has a date with destiny. And it`s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”
"I don't care what you think about me. I don't think about you at all."
“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.”
“Dress sharply and they`ll remember the outfit; dress impeccably and they`ll remember the woman.”
“Don`t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”
"Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance."
“Innovation! One cannot be forever innovating. I want to create classics.”
And that she did.