The colors of Chanel
Black. White. Beige. Gold. Red. In Chapter 11 of Inside Chanel, five colors come alive as we delve into the history, the anecdotes, and the quotes from Mademoiselle herself that immortalized their significance for Chanel.
Black, because it accentuates the essential and recalls the monastic rigor of the uniforms at the Aubazine orphanage. Because for Gabrielle Chanel, “it reveals a woman’s radiance.” Thanks to Chanel, black evolved from the garments of servants and those in mourning to become, since 1926, in the color of elegance, epitomized by the little black dress. “I imposed black and it reigns still because black trumps all,” said Mademoiselle.
White, because at the beginin there was white. Because it captures the light, illuminates the face and enhance beauty. Because it’s the color of absolute transparency and transcendence. White, because it remainds Coco the cornettes of the nuns from her childhood and the communion dress given to her by her father.
Beige, because is warm, simple and natural. Because it’s the color of the worn earth of Mademoiselle’s native Auvergne and the beaches of Deauville, Biarritz and Venice Lido. Because it is for her the color for the outdoor, of a natural complexion and the healthy glow of skin kissed by the sun.
Gold, because it embraces both the genuine and the faux: the fenuine gold given to Gabrielle by The Duke of Westminster, the imitation gold of the costume jewelry that she endlessly invented. Gold, because of the religious relics and the cleric’s brocade robes that ornamented her childhood. Gold because of the treasures from Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, the Byzantine Empire and the Baroque art that always inspired her.
Red, because “it is the color of life, of blood”, as Gabrielle Chanel said. Red because it pemirts, when used as the lining of a purse, a quick find of what one is looking for. Red because, worn on the lips, it became Gabrielle’s signature and her declaration of good spirit. “If you’re sad, add more lipstick and attack. Men hate women who weep”, Mademoiselle asserted.