Coco Chanel inspiration linked to Scotland

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COCO CHANEL was so inspired by a duke’s Scottish wardrobe that she designed the Chanel jacket after it.

Gabrielle Coco Chanel was so taken by the Duke of Westminster’s tweed hunting jackets that she went on to design her own version 20 years later.

The young fashion designer first met Hugh Grosvenor, the 2nd Duke of Westminster, in 1925, before spending three summers in a row together on his Scottish estates.

The Coco Chanel jacket was inspired after her love affair with the duke where they spent summers together in Scotland
The Coco Chanel jacket was inspired after her love affair with the duke where they spent summers together in Scotland

And her love of the outdoors meant the pair were often out hunting or fishing, allowing Coco to be inspired by the duke’s hunting wardrobe.

The jacket has a standard £1,000 price tag but vintage ones regularly change hands for several thousand pounds.

Several notable celebrities have been spotted wearing the desirable garment, including Kate Moss and Brigitte Bardot.

And now the world-renowned designer’s biographer has confirmed that the jacket’s influence go directly back to Scotland in the 1920’s.

The film, called The Jacket, is one in a series of five exclusive works produced by the Paris-based fashion house and charts the history of the extremely successful designer.

But for the first time, it reveals that Coco Chanel was inspired by the Duke of Westminster’s wardrobe.

A spokesman for Chanel said: “From the second half of the 1920’s onwards, Gabrielle Chanel’s fashion became heavily influenced by the dressing habits of the English aristocracy and above all the wardrobe of the Duke of Westminster.

“During her frequent visits to the duke’s Scottish estates she discovered the tweed jackets which he would wear to go hunting and fishing, as well as Fair Isle sweaters.”

And Chanel’s biographer, Justine Picardie, also agrees saying the “fluidity of the jacket seems to me to go directly back to those influences in Scotland in the 1920’s.”

Picardie revealed the connection between the Duke and Coco in 2010 after painstakingly trawling through the archives of the duke’s estates to find out when she stayed with him.

But now she can reveal that Scotland helped provide the inspiration behind one of the most iconic items of clothing designed in the 20th century.

She said: “The tweeds are absolutely the Scottish tweeds, the softness of them washed over and over again before they’re woven.

“The fluidity of the jacket seems to me to go directly back to those influences in the 1920’s.”

Karl Lagerfeld, the current head designer at the fashion house, once said of the jacket that “there are thing in fashion that never go out of style: jeans, a white shirt and a Chanel jacket.”

In 1925 the Duke of Westminster was introduced to the young designer after a party in Monte Carlo.

The love-struck man soon started to pursue Coco, lavishing her with expensive gifts including a huge uncut emerald.

The affair lasted just ten years.

When asked why she never married the Duke of Westminster, she stated: “There have been several Duchesses of Westminster. There is only one Chanel.”

 

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