Chanel began designing clothes at a time when women’s bodies were constrained by whalebone stays, complicated trimmings and accessories. Besides constraining, clothes at that time were impractical and had a rigid set of rules. Indeed at the time one would struggle to find pockets outside menswear. She challenged that ideal, letting function determine form. Her clothes propose would influence it’s design. Outfits were comfortable, sensible, stylish and dare I mention, for many, affordable due her simplicity of shapes and fabric. She made trousers acceptable, revolutionised swim and sportswear for women.
A real fashion innovator of her time. Her slim, androgynous look, stripped from all superfluousness defined the contemporary woman of 1925 and still defines the women of today. Her comfortable style and heavy inspiration of mens clothes, didn’t mean her clothes weren’t feminine.
She adored tweed, which satisfied all her personal requirements and became her favourite fabric, but as usual, she had a very personal way of using. Bringing it directly from Scotland so she would avoid over washing it like they did in Paris, to keep it softness.
Coco’s creations were based on herself and as a perfectionist she would revised her designs, tweaked them, remodelled, using her sharp eyes to detect the slightest of imperfections. Many biographers would say she strove to create clothes that would fit as a second skin, spending hours trying to fit a sleeve to the point of obsession. Sounds familiar to anyone?
My Chanel style self drafted jacket features princess lines curved along the bust line finishing at the arm hole. When designing the jacket I kept in mind the essence of my inspiration. Simplicity, comfort and style. Something that could be used formally when closed or, loose, draped over the body.
I studied her design carefully going though archives and found out a few design details I wanted to incorporate. The sleeves were fixed high on the shoulder, at the outer tip of the collarbone, to look narrow, that make arms appear slim but the secret really is the sleeve volume is moved to the under arm, allowing free movement. Seams were fixed into place by overcasting and top stitching. She has a trick to join the suit lining and the fabric, by stitching them together vertically to prevent the jacket of losing it’s shape. Tailoring techniques were used throughout this project.
My fabric is a navy medium weave tweed and a cotton lining.
Coco often matched the blouse and the lining to create a neat effect of top to toe harmony.
Starting with Papercut Meissa blouse, the plackets been removed and the collar redrafted with a small pleat.The seams were binded with gingham bias and fold over for a neat finish. You know this cute fabric, don’t you? Thanks to Roisin’s for gifting me the swimming ladies after I couldn’t join them on shopping trip.
My shorts have a double pleated wide leg, with wrap waistband, side pockets, flyer zipper. With my trouser slopper to correct the crotch length, used Burda Style “Pleated Shorts 07/2012 #127” as a base, removing the waistband in favour of self drafted wrap around waistband.
A belt and a waist band all in one. The side seams pockets highlighted with a rectangular shape topstitching. The shorts was made in viscose.
To avoid overwhelming you with details overload, check out “Behind the seams: Project sewn“series of posts about the competition projects, including outfits constructions techniques.
Ps: Don’t forget to vote for your favourite design.( me me me PLEASE!)