Monday, March 21, 2011

Grand Dames of Fashion

In honor of Women's History Month, I decided to write about my first and only love, Fashion. One cannot speak of fashion without mentioning these two revolutionary icons who held their own in a male domintated profession. So I pay homage to the two great women who taught me the simplicity and grace of style.

With hats in hand Gabriele “Coco” Chanel bursted on the fashion scene with her straight lined, non-corseted jersey dresses making plain, bold. With no frills or ruffles, European aristocrats grabbed onto the simple, muted tones of Chanel’s “poor boy look” which was a significant change from the bulky colorful dresses and hats adorned with plumes. Chanel took reigns as a couturian making sophisticated comfort the new chic style.

In the early 1920’s her empire expanded to the realm of parfums and the trademark Chanel suits still being worn by selective elite women to this day. As the Great Depression migrated from the West , Coco Chanel revolutionized the little black dress catapulting the color of mourning into the choice of cocktail parties. To date Chanel’s legacy still lives on as an iconic legend with a multitude of films and documentaries depicting her life, showing that dressing like a plain Jane can be quite feminine.

Labeled “Queen of the 7th Avenue” Donna Karan headed the creative team for designer Anne Klein before launching her own label in 1985. Offering mix and match essential pieces, Donna Karan revitalized simplicity in providing comfort in a sleek design. Optimizing her portfolio to sportswear, menswear, accessories and cosmetics she has dominated all areas handling with ease and intelligence. Her signature line DKNY has been widely accepted by women from all walks of life generating over half Donna Karan’s apparel sales.

Her myriad of awards from the Council of Fashion Designers including a lifetime achievement has landed this legendary fashionista a status lasting in the industry for over 25 years. Donna Karan has since sold her company to Louis Vuitton and thrown herself in philanthropic efforts such as her up and coming Urban Zen Initiative, a center devoted to preserving culture and empowering children.

Peace, Love and Bliss

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