The fashion world has always been fascinated with Coco Chanel. An abandoned child raised by nuns turned singer, turned kept woman, turned socialite, turned fashion designer. It’s a rags to riches fairy tale come true. My friend Linda Thomas gave a delightful presentation about Coco that inspired me to pick up Karen Karbo’s The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World’s Most Elegant Woman.
As elegant as Coco was, she wasn’t frilly. As a matter of fact, functionality and comfort were two major considerations in all of her decisions and innovations. So, when you hear that Karl Lagerfeld (the German creative director for Chanel) made headlines at this year’s Paris fashion week by flying in an ICEBURG from Sweden to show off his Fall/Winter line, which could be called the Hippie Sasquatch Line, I’m forced to ask “What Would Coco and Her Beau Wear?”
Challenge: How to dress for functionality and comfort but still be fashionable?
Solution: Think tech savvy meets the military on safari. And this is answer applies to both sexes.
It’s difficult to say what she would think about Lagerfeld’s direction, but based on her design theory mentioned above, let’s take a stab at what she (and her beau) might be sporting on a daily basis if she were with us now.
1. Techie. Yes, I think Coco would be fascinated with the Internet and every piece of hardware and software that could inspire design and give buyers access to her clothes. Imagine Coco toting her iPad around in a JPK Large Trekker Nylon Satchel.
2. The new military obsession falls right in line with Chanel’s practicality. She adored navy and (IMHO) would embrace olive as a new friend. Though camouflage would be too busy for her tastes. Military style shirts, jackets and trousers can be sophisticated yet functional as UK Glamour points out. Have you ever seen a pea coat look so hot on a guy? Ladies, don’t hesitate to pull it out of his closet for yourself on a cold, rainy day– or just buy one just for you!
3. Safari looks never really left the scene, they’ve simply evolved over the years. These low-heeled patent and leopard print Dolce & Gabbana boots are new, sassy and comfortable. Her guy would look stylish AND manly in these amazing suede Rawlins Boots from Ralph Lauren.
Coco would forego mini-dresses (most likely too impractical and she thought knees were ugly) and sport a monochromatic silk safari top and cargo pant while her lunch date showed off his new straight-leg cords and a button-down plaid shirt.
There is so much functional fashion out there today, that the list can go on for quite some time. Chanel created everything from women’s trousers to the LBD. What on earth would she have thought up in the Information Age?
Do you have a suggestion for functional fashion that you’d like to share? Please post links and your thoughts here!
For more information about Thea Wood, Austin’s Personal Stylist, visit www.theawood.com or call 512.217.9869.