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August 23 2014

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The Little Black Jacket, Unbuttoned

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For Fall ’13 Karl Lagerfeld showed Chanel‘s classic black jacket in a host of hard-edged iterations—one of which featured X-shaped pockets on the chest. Indeed, Chanel’s little tweed coat has been through a lot since Mme. Coco first presented it in the 1950s. Originally designed to allow ease of movement and comfort, the jacket has been reimagined by Lagerfeld countless times since he took the house’s creative helm in 1983. He’s cropped it, cinched it, dyed it a rainbow of colors, and embellished it with everything from zippers to bows to fringe. However, Lagerfeld (who released a book about the luxe essential last year) seems to always ensure that his interpretations retain the essence of Gabrielle Chanel’s iconic design.

As part of an ongoing retrospective film series that Chanel has been running on its interactive Web site, insidechanel.com, the house has released its fourth historical short. And it explores—what else?—the evolution of the little black jacket. Have a watch and learn why, as Lagerfeld claims, the only things that will always be in style are “jeans, a white shirt, and a Chanel jacket.”

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Dept. of Culture