"Once upon a time there was a little girl who hid her humble origins all her life and preferred to invent her own legend," is the opening statement to CHANEL's Inside CHANEL YouTube video series. Of course, the narrator is talking about the fashion designer that started it all, Coco Chanel.
I recommend watching more of the Inside CHANEL series because I think the videos are extremely beautiful and historically informative. Did you know the iconic logo was inspired by the Romanesque architecture of the convent in France she lived in when she was orphaned? Coco's life was filled of sadness early on, but that didn't halt her passion for design. Her love of black and white paired with her revolutionary clothing construction of her time are what began the legacy of her brand.
Now you can see CHANEL everywhere. The brand expanded to iconic fragrances (which are actually more affordable than you think), makeup, art, is featured in music videos, and even in blogging culture. Just check out the CHANEL tag on Tumblr and you might find a stylish celebrity with the logo photo shopped over the picture to look like a high fashion ad.
See what I mean? While I wish CHANEL's men collection was more than just a flash in the pan (the Fall-Winter 2013/14 collection only had two looks for men), they do have an amazing assortment of cologne that will make you the best smelling man in any room. I'm definitely putting the Bleu de CHANEL box set (only $134 at Nordstrom) on my Christmas wish list.
You don't have to own CHANEL to embody the classic, sophisticated style though. You just need to know how to pair uncommon textures with shades of black and white.
For women, all you need are pearls, a tweed jacket with classic construction, and sophisticated accessories like gloves and pearls. Unlike the model to the left though, it's more practical to wear a longer skirt or pair of pants.
For men, statement outerwear (something that's rampant this season) and layers of blue are essential to copying CHANEL.
Whatever gender you are, pay attention to the pockets of the outerwear you are wearing, since pockets were Coco's signature jacket revolution. Jackets with two to four buttoned pockets are ideal.
Whether it's by wearing CHANEL N°5 or an outfit that resembles Coco's fearless spirit, CHANEL will always be the definition of sophisticated style. This brand inspires me so much because of how it started and how it continues to reinvent itself while staying true to Coco's original vision. I hope one day I can create something just as iconic and leave a stylish legacy.
As Coco once said, "Fashion fades, only style remains the same."