Fashion is frivolous, but of a very heavy frivolity. It is constantly changing, it is unpredictable. And yet in its incessant derailment it is penetrating. It reflects and distorts the present, announces the future and not only in the wardrobe. The dress it has always been an inescapable sign of a change taking place in society, it is a Status-Symbol. In particular the “Tailleur”. Created at the beginning of the 1920s by Coco Chanel, it is the symbol of Bourgeoisie’s discreet charm. Of what is aesthetically acceptable for ladies with a capital L: bejeweled with a rich husband and a waitress always following her. In an atmosphere of insidious respectability, Coco Chanel has created a costume revolution that is not entirely came to an end, not even today. Feminine manifesto it represents a will of appearance and a narcissistic desire.
A celebration of fashion and popular culture of the atomic age. Long live ’50’s glamour!
Since its birth our “Tailleur”, has started an evolution of shapes and volumes throughout the decades of the fast century. Geometric and sober in the 1920s. Jacket with geometric shoulders and knee-length skirt in the 1940s. With straight skirts in the Fifties, in contrast to models with mileage lenght fabrics Dior-style. Mini, essential and futuristic in the Sixties. Colorful and irreverent in the seventies. With padded shoulders in the 1980s, to exhibit power in business locations. Anorexic and colorless in the nineties.
Inès de la Fressange poses as COCO CHANEL in Chanel’s own apartment 1981. Photo JEAN-CLAUDE SAUER
Until we arrive to our days with an untouched silhouette. Every female icon that wore it has shaped it according to their own style according to the era in which they lived. In pink for Jacqueline Kennedy. White for Marilyn Monroe. Sulfurous but not funereal Maria Callas. In pastel tones for Grace Kelly. Tailleur, created by Coco Chanel, was born, says Lagerfeld in a 2017 documentary dedicated to him, from a simple four-pocketed jacket bought by a porter in a Hotel in Salzburg where Mademoiselle stayed for a short time.
MOSCHINO SS 1993 / JUNIYA WATANABE FW 2008 / MOSCHINO FW 2011
The transition from work uniform to symbol of feminine emancipation uniform was very short. Chanel’s purpose was to build a uniform or a perfect machine to dress the female body, a true design object ergonomically designed to meet different needs: movement, elegance, flexibility. Made out of materials from jersey to velvet, from lace to muslin, although the one that will go down in history was tweed, to accompany the gentle sex not only in their daily tasks but also social and official commitments.
It remains to the day of today the dress most commonly used by women who work in offices, editorial offices, parliament, but also a timeless classic, copied and interpreted by many designers in their collections. Here we propose a florilegium of images which elect Chanel’s suit as an indispensable element in the female wardrobe. A sign of timeless elegance. Coco Chanel taught us that fashion, in its heavy frivolity, is basically creation, which can still entertain and make us dream, without giving up thinking. Long life to dreams then, because a laugh will bury us!
CELINE BY HEDI SLIMANE SS20