The Undying Legacy of Coco Chanel and Her Many Contributions to Fashion

The Undying Legacy of Coco Chanel and Her Many Contributions to Fashion

How The Most Iconic Designer Of All Time Influences Our Style Today

How The Most Iconic Designer Of All Time Influences Our Style Today

Text: Emma Blanchard

As one of the most noteworthy fashion pioneers in history, Coco Chanel's legacy and style has carried on into the modern day fashion industry. Below, find 10 ways the Coco has shaped fashion.

THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS Chanel once said, “women think about all colors except the absence of color. I have already said that black has it all.” Her popularization of the classic little black dress is undeniable. In 1926, a simple sketch of a woman sporting a black dress was published in Vogue. The magazine called the dress A “sort of uniform for all women of taste.” Versatile, simple, yet elegant, the little black dress became an essential part of every woman’s wardrobe.

THE CLASSIC CHANEL SUIT Chanel took a risk, but successfully integrated menswear into her line of women’s clothing; Her signature suits employed a traditionally masculine look, yet took off with women everywhere. Her strategic utilization of metallic buttons, fitted sleeves, and knee-skimming skirts and skirts left the suit with a sophisticated look—touches of femininity in all the right places.

COSTUME JEWELRY Chanel was among the first group of designers to make costume jewelry high fashion and chic. In 1939, Chanel released a signature necklace—a bib made up of dangling, dainty chains intertwined faux pearls and other uncut stones. This type of necklace, along with her introduction of oversized pearls stringed together, created a trend that’s influence is still found in Chanel's designs today.

TROUSERS Chanel incorporated traditionally masculine garments into her collection in more ways than one. During Coco's time, a lady in pants would've been unheard of, which is likely what spawned the idea in the first place. In a post-World War I era, Chanel was liberating women of the confines of dresses. Can you even imagine a time without your favorite pair of jeans or flowy trousers? Thank you, Coco.

NAUTICAL TOPS Nautical inspiration has continued for many decades thanks to Chanel. Introduced in 1917, in her shop in Deauville, France, Chanel cemented the legitimacy of a prominent trend; horizontal stripes.

CHANEL NO. 5 While designer Paul Poiret might have released the first high-end fragrance, Chanel's No. 5 fragrance is truly iconic. Coco's goal? To create "a woman's perfume, with a woman's scent." Obviously, her endeavor was successful as this perfume is one of the most acclaimed and distinguished scents of all time.

THE 2.55 BAG In 1929, Coco Chanel designed the 2.55 clutch. As another iconic staple for upper-class women of wealth, the craze that surrounded these bags carries on into modern day society. It wasn’t until 1995 that the brand redesigned the bags and added a strap for convince. This design change enabled women everywhere to carry shoulder bags, which in a way freed them of the bag.

COLOR BLOCK SHOES Chanel introduced color blocking in her line of shoes in 1959. The brand's current creative director, Karl Lagerfeld, has carried on this trend through two-tone ballet flats, espadrilles, and pumps.

TWEED JACKETS For any classy, professional woman, the iconic tweed jacket is a must. Ideal for the colder months, this piece was first designed in 1954 by Coco Chanel. Click through pictures of Anna Wintour today, and you'll likely find her sporting the look.

SHORT HAIR Like all things Chanel, the designer's hair bucked society's norms, but maintained plenty of sophistication. Before her bold chop, women were almost always longhaired. To say Chanel is completely to thank for this haircut might be an overstatement, but she certainly was at the forefront.

UP NEXT

8 Reasons Why We're Excited For Amy Schumer's New Book