For this week’s look at crochet in fashion design we’re going to be exploring the work of Coco Chanel. Before we dig in, though, I thought I’d point you to two related posts that will help you understand this post better. The first is the original post explaining what this series, Designer Crochet, is all about. The second is a post I did earlier today explaining that sometimes I get it wrong when it comes to crochet images online. Many times they say crochet but are actually knit and it’s tough to differentiate the two in some images. That second post explains why I’m still moving forward with this series despite that difficulty and encourages you, the reader, to leave comments on any posts you think may have mistakes in them so that the information going out to the crochet community is correct.

Okay, with that housekeeping taken care of, let’s take a look at who Coco Chanel is, how crochet has been used or could be worn with her designs and what some of her outstanding items are that could be magically reinvented by a savvy crocheter!

About Fashion Designer Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel, photographed by Cecil Beaton, via Vogue

Gabrielle Chanel, better known as Coco, is one of the most famous fashion designers in the world. She’s impressive not only because she had a stunning eye for fashion, inventing iconic clothing like the little black dress, but also because she was a smart entrepreneur in a time when that wasn’t made easy for women. In fact, part of the reason she was able to be so forward-thinking in her designs because she was designing primarily with herself as the model and there just weren’t many women like her yet! She believed in being stylish but also being comfortable and so would change women’s suits and dresses to be more functional without losing their sense of style. She worked in fashion throughout the first half the twentieth century. She had to close her couture doors during World War II but actually dared to make a comeback at the age of seventy one. This was motivated in part because she didn’t like the fashions that other designers, such as Christian Dior, were bringing women back into after the war. Her tweed suit was a big comeback hit in the mid 1950’s. Coco died in Paris in 1971 at the age of 88.

Want to know more about Coco Chanel?:

Coco Chanel Crochet

Chanel Rust Tweed Jacket with Crochet Skirt Suit via The Examiner.

Coco may be gone but her label continues on. Here’s a crochet Chanel dress from Spring 2010. Via Glamour.

And here’s another from that same collection, crochet bag included. Via BelindaSchneider.

Chanel Items that can be worn with Crochet

Modern Chanel label bags can dress up eccentric and vintage crochet outfits like this one from BeFrassy.

Crochet By Others Inspired by Coco

Coco Chanel has definitely already inspired many crochet designers to reinvent clothing based on her designs. Here are some Coco-inspired crochet pieces:

Purely Paris, Designer Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby, Crochet Magazine Winter 2011

Chanel Suit in Crochet, vintage magazine, via Thornberry

Great style in this photo showing a faux crocheted Chanel bag. Crochet pattern at Craft.

CHANEL JACKETS to Knit and Crochet in Worsted or Sport Weight Yarn (Leaflet #523) Leisure Arts

Amazing Coco Fashions that Should be Reinvented in Crochet

This 1937 Lace Chanel Dress would look lovely revamped in lightweight crochet. Via Vintage Textile.

I think this 1930’s Coco Chanel dress could look great in crochet!

This is Coco herself in a fun patterned outfit that would be delightful to reinvent in colorful crochet! Via Art Deco Blog.

What are your thoughts on Coco Chanel? Does she inspire you as a crocheter?


San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!


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