A Brief History of the Iconic Chanel Jacket

Sarah Barnes
A Brief History of the Iconic Chanel Jacket
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The Chanel jacket is without a doubt one of fashion’s chicest and most revolutionary pieces. First designed in 1954 by Coco Chanel, the jacket was intended to ease women from the constraint of the wasp-waisted silhouette of the Fifties.

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“Inspired by menswear, straight and fluid, without interfacing, the ensemble provides absolute freedom of movement,” explains the narrator of the series “Inside Chanel, which explains how Coco created the iconic jacket.

“Four real pockets, braid in matching tones or contrasting, buttons stamped with the symbol of the house, and especially, new for the period, no buttons without button holes. Finally, sewn into the silk lining, a delicate chain to ensure that the jacket falls perfectly. A revolution.”

The Chanel jacket has become a timeless classic worn year after year. It has been reinterpreted and reinvented by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Rothfeld, all while maintaining the aesthetic of the original design. It is a wardrobe staple that can be worn by anyone, adapting to each women’s personal flair.

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Here, we take a look at how the Chanel jacket has been worn by women like Princess DianaLinda Evangelista, and Jackie Kennedy on the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

FYI: Coco Chanel was 71-years-old when she reopened her atelier and designed the jacket!

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The Chanel jacket first designed in 1954 is shown here on a model presenting the 1957 Spring/Summer collection.


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Photo: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Coco Chanel wearing her iconic design, circa 1950.


Image: Getty

Photo: Apic/Getty Images

First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy greeted the public in Dallas, Texas in 1963 wearing a pink Chanel jacket. John F. Kennedy was assassinated later that day.


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Photo: Art Rickerby/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Princess Diana carried a bouquet of flowers into the Great Ormond Street Hospital For Children wearing a royal blue Chanel jacket.


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Photo: Tim Graham/Tim Graham/Getty Images

A model displays a black Chanel jacket styled by Karl Lagerfeld for the 1994/95 Autumn/Winter collection.


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Scarlett Johansson arrived at the "In Good Company" premiere in 2004 wearing jeans and a black Chanel jacket.


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Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Beyonce was spotted leaving a New York City restaurant in April, 2010 rocking a bubblegum pink Chanel jacket.


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Photo: Christopher Peterson/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic

Alexa Chung arrived at the Chanel RTW show in March, 2010 wearing the iconic jacket.

Photo: Michel Dufour/WireImage

Karl Lagerfeld's four-year-old godson made a trip down the runway for Chanel with his father, model Brad Kroenig. The two donned matching white jackets with black detail.


Photo: Imaxtree

Clémence Poésy sported a Chanel jacket at the Chanel Fashion Show during the 2011 Paris Fashion Week.


Photo: Fame Flynet

Photo: Visual/Flynet/Visual/Flynet

Anna Wintour posed in a black Chanel jacket for Karl Lagerfeld's 'Little Black Jacket' exhibit.


Photo via The Little Black Jacket

Karl Lagerfeld and Linda Evangelista attended Chanel's:The Little Black Jacket Event together in 2012. Linda Evangelista styled her Chanel ensemble in a very Coco-esque way.


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Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Dree Hemingway also attended Chanel's:The Little Black Jacket Event in June 6, 2012, wearing a white Chanel jacket.


Photo: Getty

Photo: Craig Barritt/WireImage

Cate Blanchett wore a white Chanel jacket while fiming a scene for "Blue Jasmine" (2013)

Karl Lagerfeld reinvented the classic with shots of metallic and pops of color for the Spring/Summer 2014 collection.


Photo: Imaxtree

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