Coco Chanel, the fashion icon of modern age and a role model for a contemporary woman did not ignite only fashion revolution, but a switch in role of a woman in society. Fabulous and unique, her path was not always the easiest one, but thanks to her stubborn persistence and dedication, she has greatly contributed to women being glorified, independent and proud.
“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”
Coco persisted in her vision to create fashion for women instead of creating fashion women should obey to, as if fashion was her weapon to show the world how women are free to choose and create the life to best suit them. And she did it with style – clearly depicted in her famous quotes:
“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”
“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.”
It was beginning of a century and beginning of a new era: in the uneasy midst of war women got their right to vote and left safety of their homes to work in factories. No longer they were dependent on marriages and support of their men. With this newly established freedom, Coco gave them the right attire, stripping off the rigid corsets and dressing them up in comfortable dresses to follow the natural beauty of a woman clearly defined in her simple saying:
“No one is young after forty, but one can be irresistible at any age.”
This was not welcome at the time at all, but Coco stubbornly refused to act as a conformist and has conquered the rules in the end. And she did it like no one else could.
“I wanted to escape, and to become the center of a universe of my own creation, instead of remaining on the margins or even becoming part of other people’s universe.”
“For a woman betrayal has no sense – one cannot betray one’s passions.”
Coco understood the time, understood women, and knew their power.
“If you’re sad, add more lipstick and attack. Men hate women who weep.”
It is not by chance that it was her business, maybe the only big business, that survived the Second World War, and continued to flourish further. Coco used style and gave women elements of seduction, and by doing this, she was encouraging them to feel free as they were, aware of their real powers neglected for so long.
“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”
By refusing to match the norms she has become the building block of the modern world, for the first time allowing women to be both comfortable and fashionable. Indeed, through her creations she was creating new dreams for women, dreams of freedom and equality, bringing entirely new way of thinking.
“Adornment, what a science! Beauty, what a weapon! Modesty, what elegance!”
Importantly, she pointed out to a crucial direction which makes women’s life easier and utterly exciting…
“I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”
In addition, her perception of beauty and allure is everlasting…
“You can be gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty, and irresistible for the rest of your life.”
She was a creator her entire life. We lost her in January 1980 of natural causes, while she was working on a new collection for the upcoming fashion show. By providing encouragement, individualism and hope to women, Coco indeed lived as a queen, and died as a legend.
“It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him. … I’m neither smart nor stupid, but I don’t think I’m a run-of-the-mill person. I’ve been in business without being a businesswoman, I’ve loved without being a woman made only for love. The two men I’ve loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice.”
Coco… really was one of a kind. She lived up to her saying, created an empire and continues to live in the beauty of her creation.
“You live but once; you might as well be amusing.”