August is Coco Chanel’s birthday month. Let’s also celebrate one of her greatest inventions in façon: Navy Style—inspired by marinière.
During the First World War, Coco Chanel regularly took seaside holidays and was inspired by the local sailors’ uniforms. At her second shop in Deauville, Normandy, northwestern France, she launched the “Navy Style”, a short marinière. In doing so she continued the emancipation of women’s bodies and the “practical” side of her creations, by using simple jersey fabric during times of privation. Her marinières became widespread luxury items. Years later, Karl Lagerfeld paid homage to House of Chanel by regularly recreating the marinière for his fashion shows, especially in his ready-to-wear summer collection “Croisière”.
In the 1940s the marinière was worn by John Wayne, then Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Brigitte Bardot, Marcel Marceau. Much later, Sting modelled for photographs wearing one.
In the 1960s, after Jean Seberg’s appearance in a marinière in the film Breathless, Yves Saint Laurent introduced it into his premier collections, causing a fashion revolution in haute couture.
Jean Paul Gaultier has been in love with the marinière since the 1980s, in all its froms, styles, and the most diverse materials. In 1983, it was the major element of his Boy Toy collection, Gaultier greeting the audience at the end of the show in a “classic classic”, a marinière.
Marinière is also known as a Breton shirt, as many sailors in the French Navy were from Brittany.
In 2017, the Museum of Modern Art has chosen the Orcival Breton top to epitomize the genuine Breton top for its exhibition “Is Fashion Modern?”
• Read also THE BIRTH OF CHANEL NO. 5.
Sources and photos: Vogue Australia, Wikipedia, The Sun, BAMF Style.