Friday, 4 November 2011

Woolen Warmth

Part of Coco Chanel's clothing philosophy was less is more. I rarely ascribe to this admirable dictat. In the film Coco Avant Chanel (2009), Coco is at a ball. All the women are wearing elaborate Edwardian dresses. She opts to design herself a simple black dress and we're supposed to think she's the chic belle of the ball for it. The director should have had my sympathies. I like the modern sensibility Coco Chanel and her designs were supposed to embody. But the problem was, I really like the embellished, frou-frou, fabric laden gowns that represented the status quo she was reacting against. I would be delighted if these fashions were part of my society (outside of wedding gowns).   
Image from

Coco Chanel allegedly said that 'before you leave the house, take one thing off." It was in this spirit of letting the clothes and the fabric speak for itself that I chose not to add a necklace, some fanciful earrings, a scarf, or a belt (I almost wish I did later) to my outfit. Helpfully, you can also use her idea when you're low on time. What would Coco Chanel do? That's right, stop getting ready and just go.

I was actually weaing three different kinds of wool on this day. Gasp. I love the poppy red of the blazer and its channeling of English Edwardian fox hunting heritage. Fortunately or unfortunately, a blazer on its own doesn't make one part of Downton Abbey. Fortunately, it also doesn't have any of the more brutal foxhunting connotations and class divide that accompanied Edwardian times.

There's a wondrous quality to nobbly knits that makes me wam. Coco Chanel would probably think the combining of cables, diagonal knits and checks was far too much. But then she didn't know much about blustery, damp England in 2011. Vive la difference. Winter, bring it on. The wools been broughten.

Outfit: Poppy blazer and pleated check trousers, Marks and Spencer. Black short sleeved cable jumper, Forever 21, acrylic sadly.


  1. Love the jacket, the style and colour really suit you! Love that film too!

  2. I love the colour of your blazer - it's gorgeous!

    I totally agree, it's defficult to see Coco Chanel through our modern day eyes, and really see how striking and amazing she looked, especially when I think most girls quite like the idea of dressing up in a big froufrou dress, if just for a day!

  3. I'm a sucker for red. I guess the modern equivalent of the tacky huge dress Chanel hated would be the non-existent yet completely flashy outfits popstars wear in videos. Chanel wanted elegance, not to be like everyone else's vision of femininity.