Coco Chanel – Costume & Culture

Costume remains both a changing and eternal form of human expression. The androgynous, yet sexy, woman of the 1920’s enjoyed heavy make up in the form of bright red lipstick, white powdered and heavy black pencil strokes around the eyes. It gave her face an exotic, mysterious appearance enhanced by a soft cloche hat worn low over the eyebrows with very avant garde jewellery. French fashionista Coco Chanel (1883 – 1971) designed sporty, elegant and classy fashions, which required yards of string of pearls, natural or imitation. Together with gold and gilt chains, pearls became the indispensable accessory for all fashionable women for over fifty years. Costume and the jewellery that goes with it is about who we are, where we have been and, where we are going. It has become almost impossible to make a distinction between styles that will last, trends that will grow and the passing fancies of a season. Underpinning it all is the knowledge that the complexities of costume are a footnote to culture.

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