Chanel and the History of the Sailor Uniform

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Mademoiselle Chanel at her house in the French Riviera with her dog Gigot.

Gabrielle Chanel’s affinity for the sailor uniform can be considered a house code, almost as synonymous with the brand as the iconic double C logo and tweed separates. It first appeared in the summer of 1913 after Chanel opened a boutique in Deauville, a resort on the coast of Normandy, which prompted a reinterpretation of designs worn at sea.

A few years later in the 1930s, Chanel embraced the look in her personal wardrobe, specifically with drop-front trousers and a striped jersey top—two pieces that have been woven into Karl Lagerfeld’s designs for the house since 1983.

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Three looks from the Métiers d’art 2017/2018 “Paris-Hamburg” collection.

Perhaps the most modern take is the Métiers d’art 2017/2018 “Paris-Hamburg” collection, shown in Hamburg, Germany this past December. Lagerfeld anchored the show with a riff on the sailor’s entire wardrobe. Think double-breasted overcoats, red trimmed skirt suits, peaked caps, and chunky fisherman sweaters—this time worn with matching legwarmers by model Kaia Gerber.

Given that all of these elements received the Gabrielle Chanel seal of approval, we are excited to continue the legacy of the sailor uniform for pre-fall at BG. Shop the collection in store on 2 and preview highlights at BG.com/Chanel starting June 1.

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