little black dress,and suits; perfumes, notably Chanel No. 5, created in 1922; black or gray pullovers with white piqué collars and cuffs; boxy, braid-trimmed suits; trousers for women; and clothing generally designed for comfort. Among the most imitated of all designers she had a major resurgence of popularity beginning in 1954, when she reopened the business she had closed (1930) at the beginning of World War II. Her fashion empire ranged from Chanel suits and quilted handbags with chains to costume jewelry and a textile house.
See P. Galante, Mademoiselle Chanel (tr. 1973); C. Baillén, Chanel Solitaire (tr. 1974), E. Charles-Roux, Chanel and Her World (tr. 1981, rev. ed. 2005); A. Madsen, A Woman of Her Own (1990); J. Wallach, Chanel (1998); H. Koda et al., Chanel (2005); J. Picardie, Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life (2010); H. Vaughan, Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War (2011); J. Gautier, Chanel: The Vocabulary of Style (2011); R. K. Garelick, Mademoiselle (2014).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Fashion: Biographies