Learning from the Best: Coco Chanel
Nobody is a stranger to the iconic interlocking C's that represent the creativity and innovation of Chanel, nor is anyone a stranger to that beautiful criss-cross stitch-work that creates the iconic quilted handbag. Coco Chanel's legacy has well and truly lingered within the sphere of fashion and there is no chance that it will evaporate into nothingness any time soon. Chanel's spirit will continue to represent the world of style for an eternity.
Can you tell I'm obsessed with Chanel yet...?
To call Chanel a brand does not embody the symbolic values that Coco (Gabrielle) Chanel worked so hard to establish. Chanel is not just simply a brand, it is a representation of the innovation of women's fashion and the headstrong mind frame that Gabrielle Chanel herself used when trying to implant her mark within her society.
There's more where that came from.
It isn't uncommon to see famous Chanel quotes plastered all over the internet, either from an individual who is trying to consciously create a fashionable aesthetic or from someone like me, who is remorselessly obsessed with Chanel and feels the need to repeat the preachings of the Queen of Fashion herself. However, all judgement aside, it is important to comprehend why this is such a frequent occurrence. The ideas and thoughts of Chanel remain to this day, the epitome of style and it's becoming more and more important every day to recognise thats fashion truly is about being yourself.
In the early 1900's, Gabrielle (Coco) was so tired of seeing women covering themselves head to toe in feathers, garish jewels and corsets that they could barely breathe in that she decided to encourage her style of simplicity and androgyny within her society. She wore mainly black and white, and focused on the importance of comfort above anything else. She pioneered the straight leg trousers and little black dress. She gained a reputation for herself in the town she lived and women began to ask her to dress them herself.
I wish she could have dressed me. Oh well, it can't hurt to dream, right?
One of the most important lessons to take away from Chanel's story is to always remember that you do not have to conform to the norms within your society, whether it be the way you dress, the way you speak or even the way you think. Chanel revolutionised the world of fashion just by daring to be herself and continuing to do so, despite any attempts by others to tell her otherwise; a common occurrence in todays society. Due to the ever increasing prominence of social media in today's day and age (well done, Mark Zuckerberg), many use this as a tool for showcasing what they own. That isn't the problem though (if you LOVE your new Kylie Jenner Lip Kit, good for you, girl!); the problem lies where people are made to feel as though they HAVE to own a certain item of clothing, or dress a certain way otherwise they are classed as being 'slow' or 'so out of it'.
If you don't desire a lip kit, don't buy the lip kit. You do NOT have to.
Don't get me wrong though, I do think that social media can be incredible and I love seeing what my friends are up to, or even posting a photo that I love online to share with others who want to see..it's great! It is just that I am personally so bored of opening up my discover page on Instagram only to find out that if I don't contour every part of flesh exposed (even my toes?!?) or if I don't work out in the coolest sports leggings then I am "doing it wrong". Sorry, but there is no such thing as "doing it wrong" so I think you should rethink what you're trying to say. This may be the bitter side of me who hardly goes to the gym who's talking here, but I find it ridiculous that I'm being told by someone I don't even know that I am wrong in the way I present myself, even in the gym... the place to go to work out and to feel good about yourself..? Is there any sense to that? No, it seems fishy.
If you do go to the gym regularly, kudos to you..it's hard work!
Anyway, what I am saying is that, if we remind ourselves of the idea that we must stay ourselves, as advocated by Coco Chanel, it will be a much more fulfilling and happy experience than trying to cover up who we are with items that will, in turn, become just an item sitting at the bottom of your wardrobe with no real significance to your life. And, for the budding Coco's among us, there is always the potential to help encourage everyone around us to be themselves and to ignore those deafening external pressures.
Did that make sense? I'm not sure.