On a charming day like today, the legendary fashion designer, Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, was born in Saumur, France; little did the world know that that day would mark the beginning of one of the worlds most renowned fashion labels. Any individual with the least amount of fashion knowledge immediately recognizes the brand name and its sophisticated chic style. On this day we not only celebrate her birthday, but we also celebrate her successful career.
Chanel began her fashion career at an early age when she was placed in an orphanage by her father after the passing of her mother’s death. Although this was a tragic and unhappy time in her life, she was raised by nuns who taught her how to sew, which eventually led to the success in her career. Famous for little black dresses, quilted bags, trademark suits, and rich fragrances, Chanel often expressed herself with the words of wisdom: “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.”
Goodwill, a clothing store that has slowly been sprucing up its image in and around NYC for the past few years, is hosting its first mixer for young professionals at the Arctica Bar (384 Third Avenue).
Between 6:30pm and 8:30pm, Goodwill's President and CEO William J. Forrester personally invites New Yorkers to join in on this networking event. Among other things, young professionals who attend this event will be the first to find out about Goodwill's new GoodLeaders Council, a program aimed at having young professionals help take Goodwill "into the future." Attendees are encouraged to share their ideas on how to let more people know about Goodwill's efforts in helping people disabilities and other barriers to employment and finding meaningful jobs around the New York. Tickets for this event are only $10 and can be purchased here.
Coco Chanel was a woman of perfect grace: everything she designed was flawless and so was her perfume. To this day, when women want to smell elegantly and just right, they dab two drops of Chanel N°5 on their wrist. Ernest Beaux created the legendary scent in the roaring 1920s.
Paris' Palais de Tokyo museum plans to exhibit the famous scent, alongside work of Picasso, a close friend of Coco's. It makes sense (or scents?) that the famous perfume will find its showcase in France, Coco's home base. The grand designer of sporty chic, she took women out of corsets and put them in tennis dresses and casual clothes. She boasted: "a girl should be two things. Classy and fabulous." Coco pioneered the little black dress, the Chanel suit, the Chanel bag, and the health of a good suntan. With all of these accomplishments though, the petite, dark-haired designer is remembered for her distinctive floral fragrance.
Over the years, we inevitably see strange trends come and go that always leave us questioning, “Where on earth did that come from?” However, we don’t always look back to the trends of earlier years to really appreciate the hits and misses, the impractical styles, and the "WTF" moments. We thought it’d be fun to take a peek at the history of fashion for a few of the nutty trends that, after really thinking about it, left us with cocked heads and raised brows in amusement. These weren't mere made-only-for-the-runway oddities --people actually rocked these trends! Here are a few trends that veered off from fashionable to just weird:
The history of fashion goes far beyond Anna Wintour’s reign as editor of American Vogue, Alexander McQueen’s humble beginnings at Savile Row, or Kate Moss’ first photo shoot for The Face. Fashion originated when people started choosing what they wore for style, attractiveness, and comfort rather than functionality or the purpose clothing served in their lifestyles. This can be traced back to the late 19th century and the first couturier, Charles Worth. He shifted the focus of fashion by becoming the proprietor of what was en vogue, sketching and creating original designs for his clientele rather than simply taking orders for their apparel needs. He paved the way for designers, not consumers, to be the dictators of fashion.
Last Friday night, a star-studded crowd celebrated Chanel's 10th year in Las Vegas. The legendary fashion house not only celebrated their newly remodeled boutique at the Bellagio, but they also popped the champagne for the opening of their “Numeros Privees: A Journey Through the World of Chanel" exhibit. The newly opened exhibit features a 10-room installation of the world of Chanel. One room features a Karl Lagerfield dollhouse complete with CC logo print wallpaper and Coco Chanel dolls, dressed in mini Chanel jackets! A room next door features a classic quilted chain Chanel handbag with a 24 screen video of the making of the bag --right down to how the stitching is created.
Beijing, China, welcomed the opening of the Culture Chanel Exhibition Tour by Chanel. The National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) was the latest stop for the exhibit that was previously held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai last March, and is now open through December 13th, 2011. The Culture Chanel Exhibition highlights the relationships held between fashion icon Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel and leading artist that defined the 1920’s. Creative director Karl Lagerfield currently leads and produces the tour which features a collection of 1920’s vintage ready-to-wear dresses and jewelry designed by Chanel including her trademark tailored suit.
Blessed with a whirlwind movie career, an unbelievable business swagger, and a sense of style so iconic she'll go down in fashion history among the likes of Coco Chanel and Jackie O, Sarah Jessica Parker can do it all. An accomplished actress from a young age, Parker is best known for her role as "Carrie Bradshaw" on Sex and the City, the hit TV series turned movie sequel, where she also served as executive producer.
Former president and chief creative officer for Halston Heritage (reports just surfaced that she will no longer be associated with the company), Golden Globe winner, Emmy winner, UNICEF representative, and former Gap spokeswoman make up a mere fraction of her credentials list. She also has a fragrance brand that grosses seven-figures a year as well as a clothing brand. If that weren't enough, Monolo Blahnik has named a shoe after her, the SJP.
The phenomenon of mixing insanely expensive designer pieces with label-less bargain duds began when Sharon Stone appeared on the red carpet of the 1996 Oscars wearing a Valentino skirt paired with a plain black t-shirt from the Gap. It's been fifteen years (105 in fashion years) since the birth of the High/Low craze, yet it is still going strong. Quickly evolving from a trend to a necessity, High/Low fashion has come to mean that mixing a $3 tank top with a $300 skirt is more than acceptable. In fact, it's highly encouraged. Celebs and commoners alike are balancing their wardrobes with high-end designer pieces and cheap-o trendy clothes and accessories.
Established in 1895, Henri Bendel was the first retailer to introduce Coco Chanel’s designs to the United States. Throughout the brand’s long history, it has gained a reputation for welcoming new talent. Henri Bendel has helped launch the careers of Anna Sui, Todd Oldham, James PurcelI, as well as many other iconic designers.
Today, Henri Bendel no longer sells clothing, but has now shifted the focus solely to high-quality accessories and cosmetics. The company currently operates eleven stores, including six boutique-sized stores, four medium-sized stores, and a massive flagship on Fifth Avenue. And, multiple new stores are currently underway to debut late next year.