DISSEMINATION ERA 1920–1929

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Chanel in her prime

Throughout the 1920’s Paris continued to dominate the international fashion and the couture trades enjoyed boom years. The leading fashion houses included Chanel, Patou, Vionnet, Lanvin, Callot Soeurs, Cheruit and by the late 1920’s evolved towards what became known as the Garconne Look and it was Chanel and her great Jean Patou who became best known exponents of this style.

1925–1929: The Garconne Look

From the end of the First World War, women’s fashion evolved towards what became known in France as the Garconne Look. This name was taken from Victor Margueritte’s scandalous novel La Garconne. The ideal Garconne woman had an androgynous figure and if this did not come naturally. Fashions hairstyles also followed this trend towards the masculine and childlike, which characterized the Garconne Look. By the 1920’s a short hair style was essential by bobbing or shingling. Chanel was the first designer to gain social acceptance for costume jewelry, which she wore in abundance.

Chanel No. 5 debut

Chanel’s first perfume was blended by renowned chemist Ernest Beaux and was launched in 1921. Chanel gave her own name and ‘lucky’ number to the perfume branding. She designed the rather simple, pharmaceutical style bottle and monochrome packaging herself. The perfume retains its original styling today.