Of all the iconic fashion items created by Mademoiselle Gabrielle Chanel - the trousers, the costume jewellery, the little black dress, the 2.55 shoulder bag, the suit, and the two-tone slingback - none, except perhaps the 2.55 bag, manages to remain the house's all-time desirable signature the way the jacket does. While the rest have long been proliferated, the tweed jacket has secured its own legendary status as one of the consummate fashion must-haves.
Mademoiselle Chanel in her iconic black tweed jacket.
However, the seed that would become the Chanel jacket isn't much different from other Chanel iconics - inspiration from men and their freedom (the use of jerseys - then a fabric strictly used for men's undergarment, the liberation of women from tight-fitted bottoms of Paul Poiret through the invention of trousers, and the straps of the soldier's bag that inspired the 2.55), a revolutionary spirit that breaks all the social rules and conventions (again, the trousers and the use of black colour generally reserved for clergymen and people in mourning), the comfort of wear that responds to the active lifestyle (the slingback that can be easily slipped on and off and the straight-cut suit that breaks away from the constrictive Dior's hour-glass silhouette of post-war Europe). The jacket also embodies the versatility and timelessness that have enabled it to stand the test of time and trends.
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