Fashion Design Icons: Coco Chanel

And now a love story about Chanel. And yes, I snapped this pic, because every creature on the planet knows just how good Chanel truly is.

Coco Chanel is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated and famous designers of the 20th Century. Her style is one of understated luxury, using sumptuous materials yet avoiding flashy or ostentatious cuts. Her fashion house continues to create feminine designs for the catwalk that ordinary women could imagine themselves wearing.

Growing up with little money, Chanel found herself unable to afford the clothes she would have liked to buy, and so set about designing and creating her own, using whatever material she could afford—usually materials more often associated with men’s clothing, such as jersey. Popular during the 1920s and again in the 1950s, her fashion house has again found pre-eminence in some of the leading luxury retailers in the country, though the brand is now better known for its fragrances and makeup (http://www.harrods.com/brand/chanel?icid=search-redirect-chanel).

Chanel’s key pieces of clothing have included, of course, the “little black dress” and have always accentuated women’s femininity through sparkles in her eveningwear collections to floaty material used in its famous Gypsy skirts. Chanel suits were incredibly well-liked and these helped to return Coco Chanel’s name to the forefront of fashion design after the Second World War, which had been a time when her name had been associated with Nazi sympathy and anti-Semitism.  (Yes, shocking but true. You can read more about it online.)

Karl Lagerfeld now designs for the Chanel label and Chanel clothing is very much still in vogue.

Chanel’s key fragrance, of course, is the infinitely popular Chanel No. 5, which has been around since 1923 and remains very popular today, nearly 100 years later. Fragrances usually have a shelf life in terms of popularity (remember all those heavy scents from the 1970s?) but Chanel No. 5 endures because it is light, fresh and floral—all very appealing to women.

Her makeup has always been at the forefront of style and this year is no exception: dramatic, punk-style makeup with brightly colored mascaras and eye shadows are the overarching theme to the 2013-14 collection L’été Papillon (the summer butterfly). Inspired by the block colours of butterfly wings, electric blues, greens and bright yellows abound. Yet, as with her clothing, her makeup is entirely wearable away from the catwalk. Colors that look bold and dramatic when applied for the catwalk can look just as bold and dramatic but on a more subtle scale when applied for an evening out or for the office. These intense eye colours are balanced by neutral lips and her ever popular nail lacquers.

Chanel skincare products cover the range you might expect, from moisturisers, cleansers and toners to anti-wrinkle and firming products. All are made from the finest ingredients and fans of Chanel skincare products feel that their skincare regime just would not be complete without “their Chanel.”

Harrods holds a large range of Chanel makeup, skincare and fragrances upholding their tradition of stocking top-quality, high-end fashion labels.