December 10 ~  Cut-And-Dried Jewelry by Chanel

"There is no time for cut-and-dried monotony. There is a time for work. And time for love. That leaves no other time."~ Coco Chanel

coco chanelBorn in Saumur, Maine-et-Loire, fashion designer Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel (1883-1971) created classic designs, liberating women with sophistication and comfort. She dominated Parisian fashion for nearly 60 years.

"Nature gives you the face you have at twenty," she said. "It is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty."

Her revolutionary ideas included turtleneck sweaters, pea jackets, costume jewelry, and graceful jersey suits. Thanks to Chanel, women tossed off their corsets, bobbed their hair, and learned the importance and versatility of "the little black dress."

"Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress," said the outspoken trendsetter, her design signature, back-to-back "C's."

A free spirit who used design as her pulpit, she introduced Chanel No. 5 to the world on the fifth day of the fifth month in 1925, naming the perfume after her lucky number. An unusual scent, created by a chemist on the Riviera, it soon became the most sought-after fragrance in the world.

"Women are not flowers," Chanel explained about the unorthodox blend, "why should they want to smell like flowers?"

Chanel loved working with her hands, and rarely, if ever, worked off a drawing or linen prototype. Even in later years when plagued by arthritis, she created with fingers to fabric. "Those who create are rare; those who cannot are numerous. Therefore, the latter are stronger."

Great work, with love.

Focus on work... and love.