Chanel Retail Fixtures
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BACKSTORY – for Chanel Retail Fixtures, Chanel S.A. is a French, privately held company owned by Alain and Gérard Wertheimer, grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, who was an early business partner of the couturière Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel. Chanel S.A. is a high fashion house that specializes in haute couture and ready-to-wear clothes, luxury goods and fashion accessories. In her youth, Gabrielle Chanel gained the nickname Coco from her time as a chanteuse. As a fashion designer, Coco Chanel catered to women’s taste for elegance in dress, with blouses and suits, trousers and dresses, and jewellry (gemstone and bijouterie) of simple design, that replaced the opulent, over-designed, and constrictive clothes and accessories of 19th-century fashion. The Chanel product brands have been personified by fashion models and actresses, including Inès de La Fressange, Catherine Deneuve, Carole Bouquet, Vanessa Paradis, Nicole Kidman, Anna Mouglalis, Audrey Tautou, Keira Knightley and Marilyn Monroe.
The House of Chanel is known for the “little black dress“, the perfume No. 5 de Chanel, and the Chanel Suit. Chanel’s use of jerseyfabric produced garments that were comfortable and affordable. Chanel revolutionized fashion — high fashion (haute couture) and everyday fashion (prêt-à-porter) — by replacing structured-silhouettes, based upon the corset and the bodice, with garments that were functional and at the same time flattering to the woman’s figure.
In the 1920s, the simple-line designs of Chanel couture made popular the “flat-chested” fashions that were the opposite of the hourglass-figure achieved by the fashions of the late 19th century — the Belle Époque of France (ca. 1890–1914), and the British Edwardian era(ca. 1901–1919). Chanel used colors traditionally associated with masculinity in Europe, such as grey and navy blue, to denote feminine boldness of character. The clothes of the House of Chanel featured quilted fabric and leather trimmings; the quilted construction reinforces the fabric, the design and the finish, producing a garment that maintains its form and function while being worn. An example of such haute couture techniques is the woolen Chanel suit — a knee-length skirt and a cardigan-style jacket, trimmed and decorated with black embroidery and gold-coloured buttons. The complementary accessories were two-tone pump shoes and jewellry, usually a necklace of pearls, and a leather handbag.
The House of Chanel (Chanel S.A.) originated in 1909, when Gabrielle Chanel opened a millinery shop at 160 Boulevard Malesherbes, the ground floor of the Parisian flat of the socialite and textile businessman Étienne Balsan, of whom she was mistress. Because the Balsan flat also was a salon for the French hunting and sporting élite, Chanel had opportunity to meet their demi-mondaine mistresses, who, as such, were women of fashion, upon whom the rich men displayed their wealth — as ornate clothes, jewelry, and hats.
Coco Chanel thus could sell to them the hats she designed and made; she thus earned a living, independent of her financial sponsor, the socialite Balsan. In the course of those salons Coco Chanel befriended Arthur ‘Boy’ Capel, an English socialite and polo player friend of Étienne Balsan; per the upper class social custom, Chanel also became mistress to Boy Capel. Despite that social circumstance, Boy Capel perceived the businesswoman innate to Coco Chanel, and, in 1910, financed her first independent millinery shop, Chanel Modes, at 21 rue Cambon, Paris. Because that locale already housed a dress shop, the business-lease limited Chanel to selling only millinery products, not couture. Two years later, in 1913, the Deauville and Biarritz couture shops of Coco Chanel offered for sale prêt-à-porter sports clothes for women, the practical designs of which allowed the wearer to play sport.
The First World War (1914–18) affected European fashion through scarcity of materials, and the mobilisation of women. By that time, Chanel had opened a large dress shop at 31 rue Cambon, near the Hôtel Ritz, in Paris; among the clothes for sale were flannel blazers, straight-line skirts of linen, sailor blouses, long sweaters made of jersey fabric, and skirt-and-jacket suits.
Coco Chanel used jersey cloth because of its physical properties as a garment, such as its drape — how it falls upon and falls from the body of the woman — and how well it adapted to a simple garment-design. Sartorially, some of Chanel’s designs derived from the military uniforms made prevalent by the War; and, by 1915, the designs and the clothes produced by the House of Chanel were known throughout France.
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For Chanel Retail Fixtures by Title…
” Bell Jar Fragrances Ribbon-Tied For Effect ”
” Chanel Stylized Painted Purse Mannequins ”
” Chanel Scarf Bar Wall Display Merchandising ”
” Chanel Branded Ribbon Tied Boxes For Gabrielle ”
” Chanel Fragrance Ribbon Tied Tower Display ”
“Brand Chanel® or Brand The Numeral?”
“Visual Merchandising Cart on a Budget”
“Chanel® Ladies-First Pursette Museum Case”
“Chanel® Fragrance Cradle”
“Bridged-Glass Chanel® Tester Display”
“Chanel® Shoe in Chains”
“Designer Chain Saw by Chanel“
“House of Chanel Eyeglass Niches“
“Chanel Brand as Art Personified”
“Chanel Clothes Hanger’d by Nordstrom“
For a list of all Chanel Retail Fixtures research aids see…
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