Elegant, practical and synonymous with style, the Chanel tweed jacket is one of luxury fashion’s most iconic symbols. Beyond just a regular piece of classy outerwear, a Chanel jacket stands as an icon of the sophisticated and liberated woman. Famous faces in fashion history, from Princess Diana to Jacqueline Kennedy have worn Chanel’s tweed while front and centre on the global stage. What is it that makes this unique piece of clothing so iconic and beloved? And what was the inspiration behind this iconic creation of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s? Luxury consignment platform LUX.R investigates.
The Inspiration Behind the Chanel Tweed Jacket
Coco Chanel once said: “I really care about women, and I wanted to dress them in clothes that make them feel at ease, clothes they can wear to drive a car, but that still emphasize femininity”. This philosophy permeates all of Chanel’s creations, but is especially evident in the design of her iconic tweed jackets.
It is believed that Chanel used to gravitate towards the clothes of her lover, the Duke of Westminster because of the comfort and ease of movement provided by menswear. As someone who believed that style did not have to come at the expense of comfort, Chanel sought to design a jacket for the modern mademoiselle, one which, in her words, “made them feel at ease” without sacrificing femininity.
The jacket we’ve all come to associate with Parisian chic was brought to life in 1925 as part of a two-piece suit. European women’s fashion during the Belle Epoch, the age prior to Chanel’s, featured structured corsets and skirts that cinched the waist. Such outfits greatly restricted movement and were less than comfortable.
The Design of the Chanel Jacket
In comparison, Chanel’s new creation was worlds apart. Designed in a straight-cut without any shoulder pads, stiff interfacing or unnecessary darts to conform the fabric to the body, this new jacket also came with proper functional pockets. Coco Chanel would even take the measurements of customers who came in hoping to buy a jacket by asking them to cross their arms so their hands rested on opposite shoulders. This ensured that the fit of the jacket would optimise movement.
Chanel’s original jacket was inspired by the distinctive silhouette of traditional Austrian men’s jackets. Constructing her two-piece suit out of tweed bequeathed the outfits with a striking air of masculin-féminin as tweed was a material exclusively used for menswear at the time. This unique fabric choice soon became a signature of the French luxury fashion house and continued to be refined throughout the years with the inclusion of different textiles into the woven blend.
Aesthetically, the use of a braided trim around the jacket, pockets and sleeve cuffs brings a graphic and playful edge to the whole outfit. Statement buttons stamped with the Maison’s double C logo or other associated symbols like a lion’s head (for Leo, Coco Chanel’s astrological symbol) heightened her design with added elegance. Additionally the inclusion of a small chain in the jacket lining to ensure a perfect drape was thus unheard of in the fashion industry.
When Karl Lagerfeld took over as Creative Director of Chanel in the 1980s, he refreshed Mademoiselle Chanel’s iconic jacket design by further playing with its proportions, experimenting with different fabrics and embellishments, and cropping and expanding its silhouette. Sequins, feathers, denim and leather feature among the myriad of other materials Lagerfeld used in his modernising innovations of Coco Chanel’s classic tweed jacket.
The svelte lines of this jacket has graced the shoulders of supermodels, politicians and royalty and pop stars. Is it any surprise that the allure of the Chanel jacket has lasted through the ages?
Luxury Consignment in Singapore
LUX.R Singapore is a trusted online luxury consignment platform specialising in designer bags from Hermès and Chanel. In addition to Hermès Birkin and Kelly bags we also have for sale a range of different luxury accessories and fashion items, including Chanel Jackets. Pay a visit to our online carousell store to view our catalogue of items for sale. On the other hand, click here for more details if you’re looking to consign your luxury bag with us, or get in contact via WhatsApp Message at +65 8028 3911.