A fashion professor has raised an interesting point I’ve never thought about before: Was Coco Chanel’s success tied, partially, to the fact that she never married? The designer wasn’t without her share of long-term, emotionally charged love affairs; one theory for the beyond-famous interlocking C’s is that the logo was created as a way to immortalize the love between Chanel and Boy Capel after he passed away. But lovers aside, no one ever put a ring on it.
“For Chanel and young divorcée Madeleine Vionnet, their single status, atypical for the time, meant radically rethinking their relationship to the male gaze and therefore to style,” Alice Litscher, a professor in fashion communication at the Institut Français de la Mode in Paris, told The Guardian. “Vionnet’s loose bias cuts or Coco’s tweeds expressed a radical sense of liberation from classical femininity and seduction.”
Chanel was paramount in changing how women viewed style, introducing comfortable jersey and taking inspiration from the uniforms of sailors, both of which combined to create the easy shifts we still wear today (Downton Abbey watchers, think about when you first noticed the female characters’ costumes begin to change—that would’ve been Chanel’s influence at play).