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Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel's musings and incisive one-liners are as timeless as her Chanel designs and as long-lasting as her fashion legacy. The pioneering designer, who dominated Parisian haute couture for almost six decades, was also the first to use cotton jersey in womenswear. This revolutionised the oppressive fashion of the 19th century, liberating women from restrictive corsets and fussy petticoats with her elegant, more casual designs which were, primarily, comfortable to wear.
Chanel's fashion ethos was understated simplicity and sophistication, which is why her style is endlessly referenced and continues to be so influential. Her trademark look of bobbed hair and red lips, along with her impregnable ambition and confidence, also broke the mould.
The style icon's now-classic innovations and fashion masterpieces included the Chanel suit, the use of pearls and cuffs, quilted handbags, and bouclé jackets and skirts.
Chanel's classic quilted handbag is one of the most instantly recognisable fashion items in the world, and an enduring one at that, as it continues to be a landmark purchase among younger generations, too. The interlocking Cs of Coco Chanel also remain one of the most recognisable brand insignias of all time, and the house's most iconic fragrance, Chanel No.5, is the best selling in the world, and arguably the most famous.
Over the years, Chanel's life has been celebrated on the big screen, in books and on TV, and the fashion brand's famous faces and muses have included Keira Knightley, Natalie Portman and Kristen Stewart.
Coco Chanel's quips encapsulated love, fashion, beauty and wealth, and remain as meaningful today as they did a century ago.
We take a look at her most famous, enduring words of wisdom...
"Fashion fades, only style remains."
"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different."
"Adornment, what a science! Beauty, what a weapon! Modesty, what elegance!"
"I only drink Champagne on two occasions: when I am in love and when I am not.
“If a man talks bad about all women, it usually means he was burned by one woman.”
"Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury."
"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous."
"Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door."
"A woman is closest to being naked when she is well dressed."
"You can be gorgeous at 30, charming at 40, and irresistible for the rest of your life."
"Nature gives you the face you have at 20. Life shapes the face you have at 30. But at 50 you get the face you deserve."
"Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman."
"A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life."
"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening."
"The best colour in the whole world is the one that looks good on you."
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