Showing posts with label Coco Chanel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coco Chanel. Show all posts


A History of the Chanel 2.55 Bag

Easily considered to be one of the most classically beautiful bags to wear today, the Chanel 2.55 or classic flap as it is sometimes called, is one of our absolute favorite styles at The Vintage Contessa. The beauty of the bag lies in its total versatility, whether you wear it over your shoulder with jeans and a T shirt, or as an evening bag paired with a classic black dress for a night time soiree. 

The 2.55 was first conceived in the 1920s when Coco Chanel grew bored of  having to carry her bag in her hands. At the time it was considered to be lower class to carry a bag over your shoulder, however never one to follow the rules, Coco rethought this and developed a new shoulder bag style.

In 1929 she brought to market a bag with thin long straps inspired by the straps used on the bags carried by soldiers. Twenty six years later she re-worked the bag and in February 1955 (the provenance of the name 2.55) the classic 2.55 bag that we know today was born.

Since then the bag has gone through some evolutions. Varying fabrications have been used, the chain has differed over time, and in the 1980s Karl Lagerfeld introduced the double CC lock. However throughout all of these tweaks the bag has stayed essentially true to itself, becoming one of the most classic fashion pieces of our time. You can find over twenty classic double flaps and 2.55 bags in our store now. Happy Shopping!

Some fun Chanel 2.55 facts... 

Each and every aspect of the bag was designed by Coco with a memory, story or specific use in mind.

The burgundy lining of the bag is the same color as the uniforms worn by the orphans in the orphanage that Coco grew up in.

The zippered compartment inside the inner front flap is believed to be a place to hide love letters. Coco is said to have hid hers inside the flap of her own bag.

The exterior pocket is specifically for carrying money in. 

The long straps on the bag were first inspired by the straps on soldiers bags. However when the woven strap was introduced in 1955 the design behind it was credited to the keychains that the caretakers at the convent used to carry around their waist. 

The quilted diamond pattern that is woven on the exterior of the bag gives it it’s shape and volume and is crafted with a running stitch. The inspiration for the design has been credited to the uniforms  worn by jockeys, the cushions in Coco's apartment and also the stained glass windows of the abbey at Aubazine.

The original lock was known as the ‘Mademoiselle lock’ so called due to Coco Chanel’s unmarried status. Karl Lagerfeld introduced the double CC lock in the 1980s, and bags with this style are called the classic flap style.


Bella No. 5

Bella's 5th birthday would have pleased even CoCo Chanel herself. From eiffel towers to chanel cupcakes, Bella's playmates dressed up with clothes, makeup and nailpolish fit for a couture show.

Jacy Cooper's cupcakes and macaroons were so beautifully styled it felt like a crime to eat them.  Stacked Chanel boxes and art reminiscent of Chanel No 5 bottles in pink set the tone for fun and frolic.

Mademoiselle Ava Le snagged a "Best Dressed Honorable Mention" for her stylish Chanel duds.  Mommy, Katherine Le had to be proud of her munchkin following in her footsteps.

Bella loved every second of her Hip Hop Lollipop Chanel No 5 experience, princess dress, crown and all.


A Vivid Journey with Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

"Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel" personifies the masterful “Empress of Fashion,” whose influence changed the way we saw beauty, art, publishing, and culture forever. Launching Twiggy and advising Jackie Onassis were only a few of her accomplishments as the fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar and editor-in-chief of Vogue. Her final fashion stint at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute gave a historical look at fashion translated to a common language for those in the fashion world.
Although she wasn't a feminist, she revolutionized the role of women in the 20th century bringing culture, art, and fashion revolutions, including the bikini and blue jeans, to the pages of magazines.

The her magazine transformed fashion photography into an art form.  The interviews in her living room she called a garden in hell, revealed so many details of her years at Harpers Bazaar and Vogue that I felt connected to her as a person, editor and fashion lover.

She was not schooled in fashion, however her education was provided by "the world ".  She boldly stated, in order to be in fashion, the first thing you should arrange is to be born in Paris, everything else follows.

She was a dancer of the roaring 20's in NYC and spent many nights dancing in clubs. She proudly proclaimed, " on those evenings I saw a lot of fun." Watching Josephine Baker she commented on her love of that "pizzazz" thing Baker had.

When Jane Pauley asked what personified her style, she replied," a race horse- because they have a little extra pizzazz."  She said she knew if she was going to make it, she had to stand out.

Vreeland lived in and traveled to amazing places, but my favorite quote about a city was her comment, "The best thing about London was Paris."  When she lived in London, she was always sneaking away to Paris.  Diana was very close to CoCo Chanel, wearing many of her pieces, and although she was exposed to the most influential designers of her time, she said that no one had a better feel about luxury than CoCo.

Carmel Snow noticed Vreeland at an event and admired what she had on which, naturally,  was Chanel.  Although she had no experience in fashion, Snow asked her to come on board with Harpers Bazaar stating, "Why don't you try it?" 

Thus, she titled her column, "Why don't you?"  The world was in midst of a recession and Vreeland dreamed up "mad" ideas of excess and luxury.  She had an original point of view that varied from the norm.  It truly separated her from the rest.
My favorite quote of her reads: "Style is everything. It's what gets you up in the morning. And I'm not talking about clothes."  How profound?  I love the quote and couldn’t agree more. Fashion isn’t about the clothes, it is about the way a woman or man carries the clothes. Vreeland nailed it.

In college, the director of the film, LisaImmordino Vreeland, was mesmerized by Diana Vreeland’s presence. She later fell in love with Vreeland’s grandson, becoming an official member of the Vreeland family. Although her background was art history, she had energy towards fashion.

Following the screening, Ms. Lisa Vreeland will engaged in a candid conversation with a friend and Houston Cinema Arts Festival, Lynn Wyatt. 

Diana Vreeland's mystical ways and beliefs continue to resonate throughout the fashion and art world.  Although, the director had concerns about Diana Vreeland being misunderstood, I feel that I understand her quite well and applaud her style, vim and vigor of life, fashion, art and travel.
You are truly an Empress Ms. Vreeland.


Coco Chanel's French Apartment

If you thought the Chanel Summer/Spring 2013 fashion show was amazing, just imagine how Coco Chanel's apartment must be like. The mastermind behind this uber-luxurious women's brand would no doubt have a home like this! Located at 31 Rue Cambon, the dreamy Parisian dwelling represents the blend between Eastern and Western culture.
It's amazing to think that Coco entertained men such as artists, Alberto Giacometti and Igor Stravinksy, within the very walls we were walking in more than 80 years ago.

Handcrafted Chinese screens, crystal chandeliers and animal decor sprinkled each magnificent room. Since traveling was often difficult during her time, she purchased these antique pieces through antique dealers verses directly from the Orient and other areas around the world.  

Behind the fa├žade of the art-deco-influenced exterior and downstairs showrooms, there's a spiral staircase that ascends to an extraordinary second floor.
The central element of the main room was the custom crystal chandelier with iconic "5's", "G's" and "c's" hidden in the iron detailing. 

Chanel was a superstitious woman and often placed open-mouthed frogs, symbols of love, money and luck around the house.  Also, Chanel's favorite flower, the camellia flower, is seen on several decor items in her home. 
Wondering about the lions? Coco was born in February make her astrological sign a Leo, which is a lion. 


Chanel: The Brand That Never Goes Out of Style

Chanel. How you tempt me so. Those classic silhouettes and all around gorgeous, handcrafted handbags make me gasp each time I see that mirrored "C" logo.
This high-end couture and ready-wear fashion house began in 1909 by Madame Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel. The iconic quilted bags and "the little black dress" are just a few items that the House of Chanel is known for.

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Coco Chanel's favorite colors, black, white and greys, are used throughout Chanel's line. Lucky for us, these neutral colors never go out of style and can be paired with practically anything. 

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Did you know that the interlocking "C" logo was influenced by the stained glass windows in an Aubazine chapel which featured interlaced curves?

Every bottle of of Chanel No.5, the best selling fragrance in the world and Chanel's most profitable item,  is hand-sealed with baudruchage (a fine membrane), pearl cotton thread and hot wax stamped with the interlocking C's. Talk about premiere product care.

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Coco Chanel used her personal style to influence her designs. Her cropped hair and slim figure became the ideal feminine look of the 1920s and has continued to influence women around the world to this very day.

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