As London Fashion week closed and the curtain went down for another year 19th February, 2019 Karl Lagerfeld died aged 85 and even though he began his own eponymous label only 12 months after his first couture collection hit the runway in 1983 it was his 36 year tenure at Chanel that made him world famous.
So what was it about Chanel a visionary like Lagerfeld was unable to let go of. Many have tried to emulate the same level of success yet no one before or since comes close? Could it be her generous vision for all women, ordinary women (like her) ensuring her style, her essence, her spirit endure over 100 years later?
In this post we want to look at all things Chanel and share our insight how anyone can take Coco’s sensibility and create a Chanel look on a budget even Karl Lagerfeld would have struggled to dispute.
All things Chanel Style
1. Black, black and more black but this is just the start. Don’t think that’s all you need as you may end up looking more biker, waiter, rocker or goth than Parisian je ne sais quoi.
2. Two tone - black and white, black and ivory is the Chanel signature. So anyone can put a black jumper over a white shirt - showing the collar and the cuff is signature Chanel. A black base layer with a flat ballerina pump and a simple Camel coat easily creates this two tone look.
3. Pearls - like Marmite some women love them, some women hate them and some women associate them with ageing. Younger women can wear pearls no problem appearing more womanly or grown up and add pearls to plain black anything and it will lift your look to a whole new stylish level. Think iconic Audrey Hepburn - Breakfast at Tiffany’s. They don’t have to be real to create the illusion but steer clear of the cheap plastic jewellery available on the high st. The best Chanel style on a budget option for pearls is raid your Grandma’s jewellery box or head out to a local flea market where you’ll find every possible version of beautiful quality costume jewellery pearls available way cheaper than the real deal. Be brave and knit them, twist them, layer them up, mix traditional chokers and double strand graduated pearls with a long strand or two. Try creating your own unique version of the Chanel necklace by adding personal charms that mean something to you.
Solid Silver Chanel Style Earrings
Necklace Set - £200
4. The Flap Bag - This Chanel grand dame comes in every shape, size, colour and is instantly recognisable. There are lots of copies around but we would encourage you to save up and buy an authentic Chanel flap bag second hand. If even second hand is unrealistic and outside your budget look for an unbranded option that creates the illusion rather than a fake which could make you stand out for all the wrong reasons.
5. The LBD in Gabrielle Chanel’s world, one piece of clothing that works in the moment whatever the job at hand, has endured over 100 years, an acronym that needs no translation for stylish women across the globe. Chances are you have a few little black dresses in your wardrobe but we are happy to wager only one “LBD” (The holy grail of fashion) if you have managed to find that one perfect dress you are never giving up. When picking this wardrobe essential you need to know your own body well to select the appropriate shape, cut and length for you but comfort is key for the dress that will go on and on. If you really don’t have a clue a visit to a professional stylist or personal shopper will help you understand more about your proportions and how best to dress them. Going for something with stretch is our no. 1 top tip.
6. The Boucle Jacket - this is one homage to Chanel where you don’t need the real thing to create a convincing look although if you are lucky enough to own one you’ll understand why we all aspire to an authentic version of this historic wardrobe staple. Like the Balmain, once you’ve had a taste it’s difficult to wear something inferior but the younger you are the easier it is to pull off a dupe convincingly when well styled. Everyone has done one from Zara on the budget end to Lui Jo, Sandro and Maison Scotch in the middle. This is definitely a piece to source second hand or pre loved with lots of variations available on shape, color, size, quality and price.
7. The CC Logo - 1st rule of thumb never be a logo whore, a true fashionista is always logo shy favouring cut and fit over brand affiliation or promotion. Stylish women are not free brand advertising billboards so it’s worth really thinking about what you stand for and doing your research about what a brand stands for before sharing it with the world splattered all over your clothes. What you think it says about you may not actually be true and too much of anything, even a good thing is a style disaster. When you buy something because you love it the logo becomes irrelevant. And when you choose well no one knows. Is it or isn't it? Better to keep everyone guessing then no one can copy you.
8. Over The Top Jewellery - the chain belt, a massive CC necklace, drop earrings or a bling cuff or brooch are all Chanel signatures, the challenge is styling the unsubtle subtly. The Chanel costume jewellery is an opulent diversion from the almost puritan in design simplicity of the clothes and other accessories like shoes and bags. A piece of authentic Chanel jewellery is going to set you back even second hand so our recommendation is find something vintage on a budget or buy some decent quality large letter/diamond charms and then spell out your own vibe on a plain belt or necklace Chanel style.
Original Chanel Chain Belt - Shirley's Own
Shirley Yanez, The Leicester Stylist, draws inspiration from the unbreakable spirit and unwavering tenacity that led Gabrielle Chanel from extreme poverty to massive global success. Selling an ethical fashion future to a world addicted to cheap and quick - fast fashion requires great vision. Please click images to shop Rescue @venuscow the UK best second hand designer brands website.