Librarian Seeking Strong Silhouettes

Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits
Librarian seeking bold colors, rich textures and strong silhouettes to fill my closet for the season. 
Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits
This easily could have been the classified ad verbiage for a woman ready to wear the Chanel Fall 2019 couture collection. The designs were at once rooted in history, stylish and luxurious. The show was presented in front of a backdrop of books, making it easy to imagine a librarian, professor or take-charge business woman wearing the designs. 
Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits

Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits

The collection featured classic Chanel tweeds, but in bold pops of color like orange and fuschia. Alongside the tweeds were rich velvets and gauzy overlays--providing a range of textures and colors for the fall season. 
Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits

Historical references included Elizabethan-like neck ruffs, providing a new take on cold weather turtle necks. If Queen Elizabeth I were still alive, she would readily embrace the chic reinterpretation of the ruff as she continued to lead in style. 
Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits

Glimpses of history did not stop with Elizabeth, but also jumped to Louis XIV, the Sun King who reigned France from 1643-1715. Louis was quick to utilize fashion to bolster his reign and show off his features, which he believed included his legs. What better way to do this than with a good pair of tights and heels? Centuries later, heels with bows on top are back in style, and you don’t have to be royal to wear them. 
Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits

Taking cues from menswear, the Chanel designs included dresses modeled after a man’s tuxedo. The classic black and white tuxedo was reimagined as a dress, maintaining key features like the the button-down style top and bow tie, but with an entirely new and feminine silhouette. The menswear references continued with dresses that included columns of buttons, much like a man’s double breasted suit.  
Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits

Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits

Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits

Power suits are nothing new in the world of corporations and politics. So that means that certain occasions call for a strong shoulder. But instead of bringing back shoulder pads, the Chanel collection instead looked to the era of Queen Victoria. 
Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits

Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits
During the late Victorian period women’s gowns often included gathered and pouffy sleeves known as leg-o-mutton sleeves. Though the feminine form was still constrained by a corset and behaviors had to follow culture’s mandates, the sleeves became part of the silhouette of women on the verge of a breakthrough. New freedoms like the bicycle were emerging and the iconic Gibson Girl was often portrayed with the sleeve style. 
Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits

Paul Poiret style hobble skirts made an appearance as well, though remade for the Chanel aesthetic in tweeds and paired with the suit-like tops. Poiret was famous alongside Coco Chanel for helping free women from corsets. However, Coco critiqued his hobble skirt design since it constrained movements. By combining the narrow hobble-like skirt with a blazer, the once constraining design is reborn with a new form of feminine power. 
Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits

By reading the references in each silhouette, pleat, fabric or color choice, the connections to history become clear. With a little help from Chanel, you can channel the power of Queen Elizabeth I, play up your features like Louis the Sun King, use menswear inspiration to break down gender stereotypes, wear a powerful shoulder like the Gibson Girl and question barriers by taking what was once a constraint and reimagining it as an asset. 
Chanel Fall 2019 Couture Suits
The story is still being written, but history can provide plenty of lessons and inspiration to help us along the way. 

Runway Photo Source: Vogue.com 

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