Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel was one of the 20th century's most influential couturiers.
A milliner by training, she moved beyond hats to become a rebel and a trailblazer of the fashion world, creating a new sartorial style that freed women from corsets and lace frills by offering them sailor shirts and wide-leg pants instead.
She wanted women to move and breathe in her clothes, just like men did in theirs.Her work was, in many ways, a form of female emancipation.
Sunday marks 50 years since Chanel's death, aged 87, though her legacy endures.
As well as revolutionizing how we dress, she helped form a new idea of what a fashion brand could be: an all-encompassing force that could tend to all aspects of a woman's life, from formal attire to holiday wardrobes and evening ones.
Chanel captured her vision in "Coco-isms" that read like acerbic precursors of today's ubiquitous inspirational quotes -- "a woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future," or "If you're sad, add more lipstick and attack."
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