The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

An ode to Coco Chanel

This week we’re celebrating back to basics. Talia Lee-Skudder praises the fashion house of Chanel for its classic and timeless pieces that have remained current for over a century

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From Christian Dior to Burberry and Louis Vuitton, some fashion houses have the “je ne sais quoi” that has allowed them to remain ever present forces within the fashion industry. Their longevity and versatility have proved them to be constant influences from the time of their inception right up to present day when they are still continuing to make waves in fashion. Whilst there are many brands to commend, it is the luxurious brand Chanel that we are celebrating this week.

Despite launching her brand over a century ago, Coco Chanel created timeless pieces that are still much sought after today. Chanel revolutionised fashion at the time. Taking inspiration from the tailoring of menswear and creating pieces that were not only comfortable, but also a world away from the restrictive corset that was a wardrobe staple for women at the time. With this in mind, Chanel designed the classic black fitted skirt and dress, complete with the iconic boucle tweed jacket. It is this that launched black clothing as a fashion statement, particularly the LBD, the ultimate wardrobe staple. Yes ladies, it is Coco Chanel that we have to thank for making black chic and allowing us to hide a multitude of sins while still looking fabulous of course.

Even today it would be nigh on impossible to walk into a high street store and not find something that has been inspired by Chanel. Each season sees a whole new host of revamped boucle jackets appear, as well as a constant never-ending supply of the 2.55 quilted bag which are brought back season after season. This only emphasises the classic and timeless appeal of the houses signature pieces. Even in 2016, for us mere mortals who are still desperate to get our hands on Chanel inspired pieces and don’t have a spare few grand lying about, thankfully there is an abundance of replicas that we can find on the high street.

Ten years after Coco Chanel passed away, Karl Lagerfeld took over the fashion house in the 1980s and has ensured that it has remained one of the powerhouses in the industry. Lagerfeld has reinvented but also preserved the heritage of the iconic fashion house, with the classic pieces continuing to be a constant fixture on the runway. This season’s Spring Summer ’17 collection was revealed in Paris and incorporated the classic collarless jackets and shift dresses, but revamped them in keeping to the theme “Data Universe”. The collection featured bright colours, mainly a collaboration of electric blues and pinks that updated the tweed suit. A vibrant and futuristic spin on the universally revered Chanel classic that just keeps on giving.

The timeless collections are a testament to the true mastery of Coco Chanel. Whether you’re dressed head to toe in monochrome with a little black dress or rocking the revamped tweed inspired by this season’s new collection, Chanel is the mastermind behind your outfit choice. While new designers are appearing all the time, it is Chanel’s classic designs that have established the fashion house as the iconic and timeless brand that it is. Women everywhere owe their thanks to the ultimate fashion designer Coco Chanel.