Deauville, a lavish seaside resort in the south of France, was the place to be in 1913. The epicenter of fashion, trends, and high society at the turn of the 20th century, enters 29-year-old Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel.
From the window of the finest suite at the Hotel Normandy Deauville, the budding creative visionary was moved by the spirit of the idyllic beach countryside. She drew inspiration from everything around her: the practicality of mens’ boating jackets, the ease of nautical sailor stripes, the color of Normandy’s impressionist skies, and the dreamy way fabric whipped to life under a gust of the ocean breeze. The city spurred Chanel’s sartorial dream, one unrestrained by uncomfortable, narrow, corset dresses with heavy trains, which typified women’s style of the era. Many of those influences recently resurfaced at the brand’s Resort collection, complete with a life sized Chanel cruise ship.
Both rebellious and unconventional, the French fashion trend-setter anticipated the coming of a new era for women. Cutting her hair, romping through the café terraces, Coco Chanel wanted all women to adopt a new stance on style. She envisioned the ease of women’s clothing stitched with jersey, inspired by the polo players at the french racetracks. She yearned for swimsuits that allowed the sun to kiss the skin, fluid fabrics, and wide-legged trousers, both simple and stylish. It was beside the French seaside that the style icon established her sartorial signature, which lives on in the label today.
Below, the new episode of Inside Chanel. In chapter 22, the homage to the famed designer highlights the beautiful love story between Chanel and Deauville, pivotal in catapulting fashion into another century.
From: Harper’s BAZAAR US