Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"Chanel" is not an adjective

I found this great video on Youtube. It is a talk by Cameron Silver given at USC Annenburg on the Chanel Jacket and the many commercial cardigan jackets it has inspired. It doesn't have many views yet but given the recent blog chatter about our Little French Jackets, I thought it might be something my fellow sew-alongers would enjoy.

My favorite snippets from the talk include these details:

  • Chanel created and made famous a formula that works; square cut, four pockets, silk lined.
  • The recognizable color palette; black, red, beige, white, navy blue, beige, and fabrics; jersey and tweed for the jackets.
  • Chanel supposedly said, "buttons have to have button holes, pockets be in the right place, useable. A sleeve isn't right if the arm doesn't lift easily.
  • The chain in the hem; a little "luxe cache",  "a little hidden luxury".

At the end there are 5 models with cardigan jackets, some Chanel, some inspired.

That bit about the sleeve needing to lift or it's not right has really been on my mind a lot throughout this project. I think part of the problem is that jacket armholes are often too low, which makes lifting them difficult. It's something Chanel was known to fuss over so I feel encouraged to do the same.

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