Advertising Disclosure

Skin Research Institute has a financial connection to products sold via links on our website such as our top choices.


Chanel Reviews | Everything You Need to Know

Sophistication, class, and timeless have all been used to define this iconic brand, but what is that really separates Chanel from other designers now? To know that, you also have to remember the legacy of Coco Chanel, who shaped the fashion brand and gave it the core values that much of the brand still represents today. In addition, Karl Lagerfeld is also one of the original designers behind Chanel.

Chanel ultimately tries to put you in the same clothes, jewelry, and perfumes as the original fashionista herself, but Coco’s style is difficult to represent in today’s world, especially since so much of the iconic brand was based on black and white silhouettes.

In this review, we look at the features, history, and characteristics of Chanel and determine how well the brand is keeping up with other designers in today’s fashion community.

What Defines the Chanel Brand?

Every designer has their own iconic mission statement or brand quality vision. These give you some hints into the mind of the designer and what to expect from the clothes. Now more than ever, a brand’s vision must be highly representative in the imagery and style displayed online, as well as in person.

Some characteristics of the Chanel brand include:

  • Simple, elegant silhouettes that have a sense of comfort
  • Mostly black and white with a few pops of colors
  • Nautical motifs are commonly found in accents such as stripes
  • Slightly masculine and conservative in some respects to pants lengths, sleeve lengths, and collars
  • Pearl and chain-link accessories and accents are commonly featured in Chanel advertisements and runway shows
  • ‘The Little Black Dress’ has been accredited to the Chanel brand because of Coco Chanel

Ultimately, timeless style is more appreciated with Chanel than trendy themes, as represented by Coco Chanel, her style and her influence.

Here are some quotes that offer descriptions of Coco Chanel’s fashion perspective:

  • ”A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”
  • ”In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”
  • ”The best color in the whole world, is the one that looks good, on you!”
  • ”As long as you know men are like children, you know everything!”

History of the Chanel Brand

Chanel is generally regarded as the quintessential Parisian fashion house that is dedicated to luxury clothing, including haute couture, handbags, perfumery, cosmetics, and jewelry. The brand first came to fruition in 1909 with Gabrielle Chanel opening up a little shop in Paris.

These humble beginnings would later turn into one of the most revered couture brands around the world. Coco began to strike up relationships with other designers, including Arthur Capel. He saw a great talent and helped her get her first shop at 31 Rue de Cambon in Paris in 1910, which was the original Chanel Modes.

The iconic Chanel emblem got its start here. Today the brand is run by Karl Lagerfeld, who also designs for Fendi. He also has his own namesake label. He has been able to define the style and fashion of Chanel around these five principles:

  • Audacious
  • Perfectionist
  • Unique
  • Passionate
  • Visionary

Is that still true however? Some have criticized the brand for remaining too classic and old-school in the face of trends and bright colors. However, for those who love Chanel, these are exactly what they love about the brand.

The fashion house is currently owned by a privately held company managed by Alain Wertheimer and Gerard Wertheimer. The owners date back to the original partners of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel.

The House of Chanel is well known for a few products that it continues to sell today, including:

  • The Little Black Dress
  • Perfume No. 5 de Chanel
  • The Chanel Suit

In addition, Chanel is now known for using jersey fabrics that are more affordable for ready-to-wear lines, and this makes the fashion line very layered. Some aspects of the brand are very haute couture while others are pret-a-porter, or everyday.

Features in Chanel Clothing

The Chanel brand is for those with exquisite tastes. However, the brand has experienced some instability in the past, particularly with some of its over-the-top choices, like featuring rare trees on their runway. This wasn’t the best choice during a time when so many are concerned about the environment.

However, the beauty of Chanel is still revered in the style and class of each piece. There are some specific features that you can always find in every runway show. Here are a few things to look out for in this fashion line:

  • Pearls
  • Little black dress
  • Yacht trousers or “sailor-style bell-bottoms”
  • The quilted bag
  • Chanel tweed suit
  • Breton top
  • Quilted ballet flats

Another thing that also makes Chanel an iconic brand is the use of contemporary and postmodernist art. For example, advertisements for Chanel often feature Dadaist photographer Rewin Blumenfield. This makes for quirkier advertising styles that often divulge a girlish feminine spirit while still not going over-the-top into trendy designs.

Runway shows are very important to the overall aesthetic of Chanel. Each runway show features haute couture and ready-to-wear, as well as a theme that changes with each show. Some of those themes include:

  • A lion
  • Orchestra
  • Byzantine palace
  • Ballet
  • Frozen garden
  • Night-time place Vendome
  • Under the Sea and Florence

The brand continues to transform itself while still remaining true to Coco Chanel’s vision and grace.

Chanel Products

There are a number of things sold under the fashion house now. With the advent of the Internet, Chanel branched out into a variety of different products separate from just clothing and perfume. There are even tech gadget accessories that are now sold under the brand name.

These are a few of the main products being sold by Chanel:

  • Fragrances: Chanel started selling fragrances in 1924. The list of perfumes includes Coco Mademoiselle, Coco, Coco Noir, No.5, No. 19, and others. Of all the perfumes, No. 5 is the most iconic and has even been represented in a film with Nicole Kidman. It’s called 5 the FIlm.
  • Makeup and Skincare: Cosmetics are one of the most accessible products you can buy from the fashion house. These are sold in makeup counters and stores across the world in places like Sephora, Harrods, Galeries Lafayette, and more. Chanel’s cosmetics are high-quality but frequently don’t have a variety of shades to accommodate different skin tones.
  • Fine Jewelry: The jewelry line was founded in 1932 and mostly features chains, lions, pearls, and gold as its primary design pillars.
  • Clothing: From runway to ready-to-wear, Chanel has a variety of different dresses, pants, tops, handbags, and shoes to select. These designs typically feature the icon black and white color palette with sophisticated dresses and lots of stripes.

Chanel has also been creating a sensation over its wineries in France. However, everyone knows the brand for its clothing, perfume and accessories, rather than wine and makeup. The brand is still defined by the runway shows.

Overall Impression of Chanel

Coco Chanel had a high style that was conservative yet daring for the time, as it focused on men’s silhouettes for women. While the comfort and chic look still defines Chanel, the same lines and color palettes can make it difficult to buy multiple pieces. Instead, you may find a couple pieces of Coco Chanel in the lineup that suit your tastes and let you explore that sailor-inspired look.

As more designers start to branch into different trends, Chanel has also begun to change some of its clothing to suit a younger style. However, the little black dress and vintage Chanel will always be the iconic looks for the brand.

Elise Gray has written articles on a wide variety of topics such as fashion, health and wellness, and beauty. Her publications has been seen in U&C Magazine and LA Pulse Mag, just to name a few. In her free time, Elise enjoys trying the latest and greatest hair care products for her natural, curly hair and hiking with her dog, Carrot.