COCO CHANEL

Fashion designer

Arthur “Boy” Capel, an Englishman, attracted Coco Chanel to Deauville. He was a rich businessman who made a fortune in the field of coal frets. He also owned polo stables in Deauville. Since she became Boy Capel’s companion, Coco Chanel developed her activities with his help. In 1910 he lent her the necessary funds to open a hat salon in Rue Cambon in Paris, under the name “CHANEL MODES”. During the summer 1913 the couple spent in Deauville, Boy Capel rented a shop located between the casino and the Hotel Normandy. The sign displayed her full name: “GABRIELLE CHANEL”. In 1916, she used beautiful and elegant Adrienne to model in Deauville. She also walked her own androgynous silhouette across town, testing her new pieces, contrasting by their sheer simplicity and comfort with the European aristocrats, heavily dressed and harnessed in tight corsets. The lack of fabric throughout WWI, as well as the lack of general domestic help created new needs for women. Chanel, a free and active woman identified those needs. She bought from Rodier entire pieces of jersey which used to only be used for male underwear. She imposed new clothes lines that were casual, practical, and aesthetical: short pleated skirts, trousers and pyjamas to wear on the beach, polo shirts, jodhpurs, sailor shirts; an androgynous style inspired by racecourses, golf courts, tennis courts, and yacht clubs.
"I returned to the female body its freedom", declared Coco Chanel. The woman who destroyed the trend of corsets, parade clothes, undergarments, and padding, created a new whole silhouette: the 20th century woman.