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Fashion All You Need To Know About The Iconic Chanel Jacket

All You Need To Know About The Iconic Chanel Jacket

Actress Romy Schneider wearing the Chanel tweed suit (Photo: Chanel)
Actress Romy Schneider wearing the Chanel tweed suit.
By Aina Izzah
By Aina Izzah
April 22, 2020
Gabrielle Chanel liberated women with the Chanel jacket, saying: "I really care about women, I wanted to dress them in suits that make them feel at ease but still emphasise femininity."
Marie Helene Arnaud in a tweed suit.
French model Marie Helene Arnaud in a tweed suit
French actress Jeanne Moreau paired her Chanel suit with the classic 2.55 bag
French actress Jeanne Moreau paired her Chanel suit with the classic 2.55 bag

1/5 Interesting origin

The romantic tale of the Chanel jacket began in the early '20s when Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel met the dashing Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor. Their relationship led to her fascination with the Duke's hunting wardrobe and classic tweed suits. 

Chanel then fashioned for herself a jacket made from the traditional Scottish textile that was originally meant for menswear but made it suppler for comfort. She boasted: "It was me in fact who taught the Scots to make lighter tweeds." 

(Related: Gift Yourself A Bouquet Of Chanel Camélia Jewellery)

The cut of the jacket is structured and straight
The cut of the jacket is structured and straight
The Chanel jacket comes in many patterns and fabric including the classic tartan
The Chanel jacket comes in many patterns and fabric including the classic tartan

2/5 Beautiful signature details

Observed closely and the details of the jacket reveal why this is such an iconic fashion item. First, it obeys Chanel's own rule that "the elegance of clothing comes with the freedom to move." The cut of the garment is structured, straight and fastened edge to edge with the lining panels and the tweed panels seamlessly stitched together.

To ensure a perfect drop to the silhouette, a brass chain is sewn into the lining of the jacket's hem. The buttons are like jewels—created from metal, resin or galalith, and branded with the emblematic lion's head, the white camellia, a sheath of wheat or the signature double C. 

(Related: Chanel Adds Slim Rings To The Coco Crush Collection—And It’s More Elegant Than Ever)

3/5 Timeless icon

The arrival of Karl Lagerfeld as the head of Chanel in 1983 brought undeniable changes to the Parisian house. In 1985, the kaiser who was known for his modern style and flair for reinventions had transformed the Chanel jacket by stripping away its formality and pairing it with denim and sporty tops. In his own words: "There are some things that never go out of fashion—jeans, a white shirt and a Chanel jacket."

The late Lagerfeld experimented with volumes and proportions; his successor Virginie Viard continued this legacy. Adorned with contemporary touches, it's easy to imagine the jacket belonging in the wardrobe of every woman.  

The many achromatic interpretations of the jacket at Chanel's haute couture 2020 show
The many achromatic interpretations of the jacket at Chanel's haute couture 2020 show

(Related: Chanel Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2019: Virginie Viard's First Couture Collection)

There are some things that never go out of fashion—jeans, a white shirt and a Chanel jacket

Flared skirts are paired with the jacket on the spring/summer 2020 runway
Flared skirts are paired with the jacket on the spring/summer 2020 runway
The fall/winter 2020 collection is all about horses and hunting with Viard's designs of sleek boots and tweed suits
The fall/winter 2020 collection is all about horses and hunting with Viard's designs of sleek boots and tweed suits

4/5 Versatile allure

Whether it's summer or winter, the jacket is a staple on Chanel's ready-to-wear runway due to its versatile allure. At the spring/summer 2020 show, Viard extended the form of the short jacket into playful jumpsuits and refined pleated dress. In unleashing the fluidity of the garment, it's worn with Bermuda shorts or a flared skirt.

Viard was notably inspired by jockey silks worn by the jockey who rode Chanel's racehorse, Romantica. This influence can be seen in the fall/winter 2020 collection where the tweed suits debuted a new look—sleek press studs that according to Viard, "adds a more lively gesture."

 

The tie-dye is the main pattern at the Chanel Métiers d’art 2020 show
The tie-dye is the main pattern at the Chanel Métiers d’art 2020 show

5/5 Couture chic

The exclusive Chanel Métiers d’art collection is a beautiful merger of art and fashion, and its most recent 2020 show features key pieces with the Chanel jacket in two tones. Viard also reinterpreted the design with tie-dye versions inspired by a tweed suit in gradient pink created by Gabrielle Chanel in 1960.

Making a great case for the jacket as a garment of wearable art, a jacket was buttoned down at the side and overlayed with a majestic patchwork embroidery composed of more than 23,000 multicolour sequins.

(Related: Step Inside A Chanel Métiers D'Art, Where Haute Couture Magic Happens

Tags

Fashion Chanel History Jacket Tweed jackets Chanel jackets Accessories Chanel runway Coco Chanel Karl Lagerfeld Virginie Viard

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