The Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s Classic Revisited – Chanel celebrates its iconic black jacket in the form of a book The Little Black Jacket with photographs by designer Karl Lagerfeld and stylist Carine Roitfeld celebrating the classic garment with a traveling photography exhibition as well.
by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld
The book has been launched for Fall 2012 with images of 109 celebrities wearing the jacket in a unique and different style each time. Models, actors, singers, rappers,fashion editors, designers all can be seen in this book wearing the Chanel black jacket. Lagerfeld has redesigned the jacket, transforming it into a modern, adaptable garment to be worn by both sexes of all ages.
Sarah Jessica Parker
This book shows the astounding versatility of Chanel’s vision in Lagerfeld’s hands, and ensures the little black jacket’s future as a timeless classic.
History of The Little Black Jacket
The history of the jacket began in 1916 when it was designed, produced and even worn by its founder Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel. Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel was born in the nineteenth century and was an important figure of the twentieth century.
Defying the trends of her time, Chanel was the first one to design luxury womenswear without the tight cinched waists. She defied prevailing trends and created garments with shorter hemlines where women could wear haute couture and still go about their work with ease. She wore menswear inspired shirts and trousers herself and created items which were simple and timeless.
“I always make the first design for me” said the petite Coco who believed that women could be elegant while wearing clothes that didn’t trap the body into an unnatural form.
A savvy business woman and creator, Coco Chanel is still remembered for the iconic products like the Chanel No.5 perfume, tweed suit, pearl costume jewellery, quilted handbag, to name a few.The black jacket, also part of the tweed suit, was at the time of its creation a revelation in womenswear.
Coco Chanel’s original black tweed jacket had some very defined details: overcast and topstitched seams for an even surface, a gilt chain weighing down the inside hem of the jacket so as to take the shape of the body of the wearer instead of the other way around. The stitching and quality of the fabric made this a unique buy.
When designer Karl Lagerfeld joined Chanel as the Artistic Director in 1983, he stepped into the shoes of Coco Chanel with ease by following a similar working style of creating for tomorrow while deriving from the past. His style paid tribute to the founder but never copied or imitated Coco Chanel’s designs. Karl’s first collection for Chanel was for the same muse Gabrielle Chanel designed for, and even included the black tweed jacket with chain details.
Photographed in black and white portrait format by Karl Lagerfeld himself (who also photographs the ad campaigns for Chanel) and styled by Carine Roitfeld (who is also the cover star of the book wearing the Chanel black jacket with matching skirt), this book celebrates the versatility of a classic garment which was originally designed for women, is now worn by men as well.
“The Chanel jacket is a man’s jacket which has become a typically feminine piece. It has crossed that boundary. I love that. It has become the symbol of a certain feminine elegance, nonchalant and timeless, which means for all time, “ says Karl Lagerfeld in the behind the scenes film shot during the photo shoot.