Coco Chanel – tip for presentations

30Dec08

“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”

Coco Chanel was responsible for many fashion innovations that modernised women’s clothing and are still relevant to couture to this day.

The Chanel brand became synonymous with elegance and simplicity. She created Chanel No. 5 (1921), launched the women’s trouser suit (1923), and the cardigan jacket (1925) in a time when women’s fashion was still restrictive and complicated. She made simple luxurious clothes, sometimes using fabric unasscociated with haute couture fashion, such as jersey. Often mixing masculine and feminine designs in her work.

Her personal relationships were never as clean cut as her clothes; she had an affair with the composer Stravinsky and infamously another with Hans Gunther von Dincklage; a German officer and Nazi spy who arranged for her to keep her suite in the Ritz Hotel in Paris during the occupation of France.

After the war she chose exile in Switzerland until 1954, when she returned to the world of Parisian couture. Her fashion house clothed many Hollywood celebrities from then through to her death in 1971.

Perhaps her most famous creation was the Little Black Dress (1926). The original design was modest, short in length for the period and quite plain to the modern eye. But this garment, perhaps more than any of her other creations, has seen continual reinterpretation and remained in fashion in each subsequent decade. It is famed for its ability to transform from daywear to evening with simple accessorisation, being suitable for all occasions.

I heard mention of the Little Black Dress in a presentation recently. The person said “Presentations should be like a Little Black Dress; long enough to cover all the key points, but short enough to keep the attention of the audience.”

Coco Chanel

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One Response to “Coco Chanel – tip for presentations”

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