"Known for her liberating social ideas that would free women from tight-fitting, uncomfortable clothing, Coco Chanel came into the spotlight of fashion just when she was needed most. When male designers were bickering about what would be en vogue for women, Coco decided that she, being a female with taste, but who also longed for comfortable, casual garb, would set the precedent, leaving her predecessors behind.

At a young age, Coca didn’t enjoy the uncomfortable clothing that she was forced to wear. She realized that it was society and not women at large who decided what was fashionable. Her first enterprise was a hat shop and then a dress shop in Paris, which she ran for several years until the onslaught of World War II.

Between World War I and World War II, however, Coca Chanel was already making a statement about women’s clothing. Her dresses were straight and without frills. Her designs were simple and not restrictive. The “Chanel Look” as it came to be known, was a statement that no one had previously made.

Until the mid-1950s, Chanel never had much world acclaim. She was already in her early seventies and she came out with a line of clothing called the “New Look”. At first, her creation did not do as well as she had hoped. But, the negative publicity that she received from critics actually did her well. The critics mocked her fashion, which was too casual, too soft, and simply put, simply not sexy enough. However, women in Britain and in the United States began looking at her line with a new idea of what fashion could be – something that looks great, but is still comfortable. Her clothing was known as jersey wears in the early days, but her success and financial wealth grew more than anyone had predicted.

nother one of her most famous products is the still-famous Chanel No. 5 perfume, which is not an overpowering aroma, but a subtle, soft rendition. Furthermore, Coco Chanel made other fashion statements, such that women could wear their hair short. Her themes were always based on comfort that also allowed the modern career women to work, live, and look good doing so. One of her most famous creations in the 1950s was dubbed the Chanel Suite, which was a collarless jacket with a matching skirt. It caught on worldwide. Coco also stepped into the bell-bottom boom with trousers and coined the look of jewelry with sportswear. Through the last decades of her life, Chanel was always working on new lines that spoke to the freed woman. Although she has never written an autobiography, Coco Chanel’s inspiring life was made into a hit Broadway musical starring Katherine Hepburn in 1969. (Biography Shelf)".
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