My best friend and I recently visited Charlotte's Mint Museum to view a bit of fashion history. The museum on Randolph Road currently has a exhibit featuring the iconic haute couture designs of Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel. Her design sensibilities are so interwoven into our present-day fashion culture, that as a redesigner of vintage clothing, for me, this exhibit was a must.
Coco Chanel was a pioneer of women's fashion in the early 1900's, leaving behind the corset for designs that were more comfortable and casual, yet still elegant. She is known to have popularized many modern staples, including women's trousers, suits, and the little black dress. Taking notes from menswear beyond just the pant, she was also the first to design using knit jersey, at the time used only for men's underwear.
The exhibit highlights designs dating from the 1920s to the present-day house of Chanel and includes clothing by the designer, as well as costume jewelry and her signature perfume. My favorite piece was a black and white dress suit made between 1925-1929 and constructed by Coco Chanel, herself. I love the a-symmetry of the button placement, the geometric print of the fabric, and the drop waist. It has such a simple elegance and, in my opinion, looks modern, even for today.
Chanel: Designs for the Modern Woman will be on view through December 31 2011.
My favorite design of the exhibit(jacket not pictured).
Other selections in the Mint Museum's
fashion collection not to be missed!