3 Spring/Summer ’13 Trends You Can Thank Coco Chanel For…


As a new fashion season approaches, it brings with it a refreshingly modernist attitude that’s oh-so reminiscent of the legendary French designer, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. Renowned for her menswear-inspired designs, the classic little black dress and her constant pursuit of luxe simplicity, the very essence of Coco’s directional design philosophy seems to be having another major fashion moment. Spotted amongst some of the hottest S/S 13 catwalk collections, Fashion Feminista bring you three easy-to-wear Chanel-inspired trends to try…


Seen at: Saint Laurent, Lanvin and Christian Dior.

Saint Laurent

Cool style androgyny has been hot for a while, but with the current rise of menswear designers in women’s fashion (think Raf at Dior and Hedi and Saint Laurent,) masculine-chic has been fully embraced and boyish tailored touches cropped up all over the catwalks. However, wearing traditionally male fashion items wasn’t always such an easy thing for women to do -until Coco came along that is. Liberating women everywhere by freeing them from their corseted constrictions, Coco Chanel’s designs allowed ladies to wear pants and tailored suits without them having to surrender elegance or femininity. Still to this day, the trick to pulling off this borrowed-from-the-boys trend is to opt for structured pieces that create a strong silhouette. Take on a tuxe for maximum style points or look for a deconstructed/reconstructed sleeveless tuxedo dress for a chic eveningwear option. To gain serious fashion credentials plump for an op-art printed pant suit and pair with a cropped blouse and mannish shoes.


Seen at: Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton.

Wang 13

To put it simply, black and white is forever chic and if there’s one trend to try this season, it’s this one. Avoid acid bright hues and those seasonally expected pastels by banishing colour from your wardrobe. Instead, mix up crisp optic whites and flat black tones for a stylish vintage-inspired moment in monochrome. Step away from spring’s regurgitated power florals and channel an evocative sixties look with bold checker-board prints, or simply reference Chanel’s palette of choice with a classic LBD and pure white accessories to create a minimalist style vibe. As the lady herself once said, “Women think of all colours except the absence of colour. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute – it is the perfect harmony.”


Seen at: Dolce and Gabbana, Christian Dior and Issey Miyake.

Dolce and Gabbana

Perhaps a style most commonly associated with that highly coveted Parisian look, almost every year navy and white nautical stripes make an appearance on the Fashion Week runways. Through her innovative use of jersey fabrics, Coco Chanel is credited with drawing inspiration from the working-class sailor’s ‘Breton’ striped uniform in order to create that signature sporty ‘Garçonne’ style. If stripes float your boat, step away from the classically French Breathless look and opt for summer dresses with bold, jaunty lines for a contemporary update. Feeling brave? Bring it in tiny parasol striped shorts and a matching cropped jacket.

Words © Francine Heath

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