Sunday, October 24, 2010

Coco for Coco: The Chanel Challenge

I love Chanel. It doesn't matter if it's a purse, jacket or dress. You can tell a Chanel. The name Chanel has bring bringing people in thru the doors since 1912 when Gabrielle Chanel set up a millinery shop. It was around 1925 that the Chanel cardigan was born. The cardigan and the brand are still going strong now under the leadership of Karl Lagerfield.

Coco Chanel may be the most famous designer of all times. Coco brought us menswear as ladies wear in the 1920's. Scandalous for that time. She brought us the Chanel jacket, bell bottom pants and of course, the little black dress. What are the details that signal Chanel? She loved jersey, tweed, boucle, chains, trims, ribbons and buttons. Her construction techniques differed from the other couture shops. Coco's jacket linings are quilted to the shell fabric. You will not find facings in the jackets either. She used chains on the hemline so the jackets hung right and didn't loose their shape. These jackets do not come cheap. I don't know if you can purchase a Chanel jacket for under $4000. Thus the challenge.

Last year, I was cruising around Hancock Fabrics. I first spied some odd pink fabric. I didn't purchase it that day but I kept thinking about it. It was either on the second or third trip to Hancock's that I succumbed. Have you ever brought home an orphan? That's how I felt about the fabric. It needed a home. Nobody wanted it. It had been on the clearance rack a while. It was during the several trips around the clearance section that I spied the "Chanel" fabric. With that in hand, I knew my odd pink fabric would have a partner. Now the the bridal gown is finished, I guess I need a new challenge. One that will push my skills. So what better project than a Chanel jacket. This will be a practice Chanel. I won't be putting a chain in the hemline. I won't be adding pockets. My trim may be minimum unless I can find something appropriate for the fabric. I can't go full bore Chanel since I have a customer to please. She's only six. So I have to balance her likes with my wants. Follow me as I plunder thru some Chanel techniques. I have a 50% chance of succeeding. I won't know until I try. I hope you're all able to come along for the ride.

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