Stylemynt remembers the iconic designer Coco Chanel on her 130th birth anniversary. She liberated women from corsets and gave them menswear inspired androgynous style that was practical yet elegant. She was also the creator of classics like the little black dress and made the string of pearls a must have for every woman, not to forget the quilted bag that’s timeless and still a favourite with A-lister fashionistas like Sonam Kapoor.
We spoke to designer Sanchita, who is a modern day crusader of the androgynous style and created Freida Pinto’s breathtaking gown at the Cannes Film Festival this year, for her take on graceful androgyny for women.
Coco Chanel pioneered the androgynous look without compromising on femininity. How do you think she made it possible?
The look became a symbol of sensuality and passion and these silhouettes became synonymous with independent, elegant and powerful women – women who are smart, cultivated, spiritual and chic. The androgynous look pioneered by Chanel is one of the most enduring and powerful fashion statements of the last century, and in the 21st century it continues to inspire.
How should one wear the androgynous look without being over the top masculine?
Mixing up masculine box – chic with feminine elements like a flouncy bow. Such looks offer covered-up sex appeal keeping the look feminine and sexy with soft touches like prints, floppy hat and blouson detailing.
Chanel also created some of the greatest womenswear classics like the quilted bag, the tweed jacket, the LBD and was known for making the string of pearls timeless. How can one wear these classic pieces in a contemporary fashion?
Reinterpret a classic LBD with a modern black and white palette – the bonus would be gems like thin metal frame sunglasses and a micro shoulder bag in real or faux luxe leather. Accessories like the string of pearls are pieces of timeless expression and can be added to update any evening look.
You have embraced the androgyny genre. What’s so appealing about it and why do you think it’s trending today?
The androgyny trend is quirky and individualistic. And there is so much to choose from – the savoir faire of the 1930s to the skinny detailing of the 1960s.