Friday, August 14, 2009

Inspiration - Myrna

A friend lent me this old and fragile book about Chanel. It was intriguing how many of the style lines that I'm drawn to are attributable to her.

While developing my jacket, I'm keeping in mind what I learned about my fashion personality (not body type) from the book Nothing to Wear by Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo. I'm a Chic Avant-Garde. The picture below cinched it for me. I have an outfit almost exactly like that. I enjoy soft, feminine, and slightly different styles that are not way out there.

My third category would have been classic. Two years ago, I started knitting again. At Knit Night they tease me about the simple sweaters knit with stockinette and ribbing stitch that I tend toward. They're not complicated to knit which is a bit frustrating but I enjoy the clean lines and details, which means I'll wear them. That's what I want with the jacket too - to actually wear it.

This outfit was described as a somewhat frumpy look from the period after the wars when Chanel was in self-imposed exile. That made me laugh because I like the simplicity and contrast. The comment reminded me of a conversation with a friend not too long ago about ways to continue to sew the styles we enjoy and that we know suit our body types while lowering the frump factor. Both of us were feeling like re-runs.

There were two images that I found the most inspiring for my project. The first is a V-neck cardigan style with a horizontal seam at the bust point that includes the dart for shaping and a bow closure. It's less structured than what I had in mind although waist darts could be added. More likely, I'll choose princess seams as they work great on triangle body types like mine.

What I liked about this image was the turned back collar in a contrasting color, something I'd already been thinking about. This idea could be combined with the bust tie above. I have a linen jacket much like that upstairs in my closet. Luckily - LOL - there's plenty of time for more thinking since I can't start until October.

- Myrna


  1. I have read that book you mentioned and it's the best wardrobe planning book I've read to date. Having a signature style means everything looks like an expression of self, and that's a satisfying way to live. Follow your instinct, and you'll make something you are drawn to wear.

  2. Hi Myrna,
    Just came upon your blog, brouwsing through the net. Maybe you mentioned it already, but did you know that there's just a French movie released "Coco avant Chanel". It had very good reviews here in Holland. Don't know if it's already in theaters in the States. It's about her early period, the way she came to design and the beginning of her career.
    Hope you can see it.
    Greetings, Ria

  3. It seems like 99% of what we see associated with Chanel are boxy jackets. I loved how much of her other designs we get to see in this book! I particularly like the first inspiration photo.