March 27, 2015

Chanel 1958

Today, I'd like to share a find from one of my vintage magazines. These pictures belong to a short article (it's really more about the pictures) in the French magazine Elle from 27 February 1958.
As you may know, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel returned to the world of French high fashion during the 1950's. After returning from her self-imposed exile in Switzerland in 1953, she returned to rebuilt the fashion house she had closed down at the beginning of the occupation. 
By her own testimony (which is never really to be trusted because Mademoiselle was a notoriously skilled self-promotor) she had to come back because the fashion of the time was so horrible....

In this article, Elle visits Chanel for the presentation of pieces from the new collection for the spring of 1958, presented by Mademoiselle's new "It"-girl Marie-Helene.

This was Chanel's 50th collection and, according to Elle, it looks young and 'now' on the pretty film actress. I find the boots both ladies are wearing really peculiar. I wouldn't really consider those flattering, although they must have been easier to wear than the pointy, spike-heeled pumps fashionable at the time.

These looks are rather nice. They look loose and easy to wear and yet chic. They don't really look 1950's, more 60's (although there was a trend for loose fitting, more straight lined dresses and suits in French high fashion in 1958). I guess that's what makes them 'fashion-forward'. 

And on this last page, we get some quintessential Chanel looks: Tweed at upper left, jersey and pockets in the main picture and in both the contrasting edges and costume jewelry. 

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