Coco Chanel may not have invented elegance, or taste, or fashion, but the iconic designer was an absolute embodiment of these ideas. From department stores to sunglasses, billboard advertisements to suits to alluring, evocative fragrances, we are offered frequent, dazzling reminders of the timeless aesthetic vision of Chanel.
Jérôme Gautier, a Parisian journalist and fashion historian, has written Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style, which celebrates the unique and unforgettable glamour of Chanel through the medium of fashion photography. Featuring over 200 beautiful photographs of Chanel’s style and designs, the book pairs classic and contemporary photographs, placing fashion plates from Chanel’s time alongside those by the house’s designer-in-chief, Karl Lagerfeld. Gautier compares the original forms of these enduring trademarks with their later expressions over the years and to the present day, letting the vocabulary of Chanel’s style speak for itself.
As a trade—these pictures and essays for words—we’re offering a vocabulary of style quiz, and one lucky winner (with a US or Canadian mailing address) will receive a copy of the book when it is published on November 29. Send us your responses by Monday, November 28 for your chance to have the fashion house book as exquisite as its founder.
Chanel Vocabulary of Style Quiz
- Which 1950s handbag, named for the date of its creation, was designed with a double strap to free up its owner’s hands—a feature uncommon in luxury handbags of the time?
- What low-cost material did Coco Chanel prefer to work with during the early days of her design house?
- Which American cultural icon served as Chanel No. 5’s most famous spokesmodel?
- What kind of organic compound was responsible for the clean, wintry quality of the house’s signature fragrance?
- Which garment was Chanel responsible for making an essential component of the modern woman’s wardrobe?