Design House House of Chanel French
Designer Gabrielle Chanel French

Not on view

Chanel's most iconic design, immediately recognizable in its endless permutations, is her two- or three-piece suit. Although introduced in the teens, it was only after 1954 that the design came to incorporate such typical features as gilt buttons and braiding to outline and reinforce the hem, cuffs, and lapels of the jacket. Soft and untailored, Chanel's suits, often made from light, loosely woven tweed, exemplify her impulse toward ease and comfort. Skirt pleats and jacket sleeves with high-cut armholes facilitate movement, while blouses, often designed to match the lining of the jacket, reveal practical details such as buttons with workable buttonholes and self-tie bows that suggest versatility within simplicity.

Suit, House of Chanel (French, founded 1910), linen, French

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