“Women” remarked Chanel, “think of all colours except the absence of colour. I have already said that black has it all. White to their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony. Look at women dressed in black and white at a ball: they are the ones who attract everyone’s eye”

A bit of a long quote but it does epitomise both her style and the strong black and white theme we see unfolding this summer. Coupled with these darling cardigans in homage to Chanel.

Chanel established the new feminine type of “la garconne” a youthful slender androgynous figure with short hair cut in a straight line. Her clothes replace the emphasis of curves associated with the female form. Plain black and white replaced the trends of that time for the exotic colours of North Africa.

The luxury of simplicity as Balzac called her refined plainness.

Gabrielle Chanel is a legendary figure who knew personally many painters musicians and poets. She created extraordinary living spaces for herself in town and country. She always said that the clothes she created were adapted to her own needs. the charm of the fashion ideas and creations that are her legacy are a real understanding of how women can dress divinely when they think about what they need for the life they lead.

Disregarding for a moment her couture and jewellery collections and the embellishments that were part of her evening creations, we can imagine when we look at the black and white photography of the time, those marvellous Deauville beaches and promenades.

The soft trousers teamed with little jersey cardigans so like the ones we still desire today. What I want and need is a garment that is more than a cardigan but less than a jacket. Here we have perfection. Thank you, Madame Chanel.

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