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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Paris fashion house, founded by Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel (1883-1971), French fashion designer and perfumier, who opened her first shop in 1909. The perfume Chanel No. 5 debuted in 1921.


Chanel S.A. (; ) is a French, privately held company owned by Alain and Gérard Wertheimer, grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, who was an early business partner of the couturière Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel. Chanel S.A. is a high fashion house that specializes in haute couture and ready-to-wear clothes, luxury goods and fashion accessories. In her youth, Gabrielle Chanel gained the nickname Coco from her time as a chanteuse. As a fashion designer, Coco Chanel catered to women’s taste for elegance in dress, with blouses and suits, trousers and dresses, and jewellry ( gemstone and bijouterie) of simple design, that replaced the opulent, over-designed, and constrictive clothes and accessories of 19th-century fashion. The Chanel product brands have been personified by fashion models and actresses, including Inès de La Fressange, Catherine Deneuve, Carole Bouquet, Vanessa Paradis, Nicole Kidman, Anna Mouglalis, Audrey Tautou, Keira Knightley and Marilyn Monroe.

The House of Chanel is known for the " little black dress", the perfume No. 5 de Chanel, and the Chanel Suit. Chanel’s use of jersey fabric produced garments that were comfortable and affordable. Chanel revolutionized fashion — high fashion (haute couture) and everyday fashion (prêt-à-porter) — by replacing structured-silhouettes, based upon the corset and the bodice, with garments that were functional and at the same time flattering to the woman’s figure.

In the 1920s, the simple-line designs of Chanel couture made popular the "flat-chested" fashions that were the opposite of the hourglass-figure achieved by the fashions of the late 19th century — the Belle Époque of France (ca. 1890–1914), and the British Edwardian era (ca. 1901–1919). Chanel used colors traditionally associated with masculinity in Europe, such as grey and navy blue, to denote feminine boldness of character. The clothes of the House of Chanel featured quilted fabric and leather trimmings; the quilted construction reinforces the fabric, the design and the finish, producing a garment that maintains its form and function while being worn. An example of such haute couture techniques is the woolen Chanel suit — a knee-length skirt and a cardigan-style jacket, trimmed and decorated with black embroidery and gold-coloured buttons. The complementary accessories were two-tone pump shoes and jewellry, usually a necklace of pearls, and a leather handbag.

Chanel (disambiguation)

Chanel is a French fashion house.

Chanel may also refer to:

Chanel (dog)

Chanel (May 6, 1988 – August 28, 2009) was a female dachshund, from the United States, that held the Guinness World Records as the world's oldest dog. She died at the age of 21 on August 28, 2009.

Usage examples of "chanel".

Looking around the office where she waited for Cheryl, Grace was particularly glad she had worn the little Chanel knockoff.

In addition to the Chanel she was wearing a white silk dress and that quizzical, half-amused smile that made most of the other officers turn mental cartwheels and handsprings but served only to irritate me.

Susannah could point to the page on which it was modelled, and she could explain that all the accessories were identical too, from the classic impractical two-tone sling-back Chanel shoes, to the double strand of real matched pearls.

Prior received in a gracious Chanel gown of ashes-of-roses with a draped skirt, its bodice ornamented with discreet seed pearls.

There was the shade of lipstick, the rouge he carefully put on her cheeks, the mascara on the eyelashes and the perfume, Chanel No.

She floated away down the corridor, leaving a faint delicious whiff of Chanel Number 5 on the air.

Three floors down, a pair of middle-aged women filled the car with Chanel No.

I was in awe of Callista because she was an artist, and was consulted like a man, and strode around and shook hands like one as well, and smoked cigarettes in a short black holder, and knew about Coco Chanel.

Chanel suit, which I personally knew to have been designed by Coco herself-many years ago.

The Countess was wearing an afternoon frock from the atelier of the new Parisian designer, Coco Chanel.

She squirmed in and out of cocktail dresses at Bonwit's fancy frocks department and then she had a long consultation at the Chanel counter, gravely discussing her options and ultimately agreeing to give their foundation one more chance, but in a darker shade.

Lei indossava un completo blu mare e sandali Chanel, in tinta, coi tacchi alti.

If he pressed, she would snap open her Chanel purse and pull out a clean bill of health from her gynecologist and a package of foil-wrapped party favors.

Women wore high powdered wigs, bonnets, dirndls, floor-length robes, a pink Chanel suit, a T-shirt advertising the rap group Black-Eyed Peas.

Scott taking off her Chanel suit, her trifocals, her diamond-encrusted designer crucifix, then embracing her beach boy.