So Classic, So Chanel

Published March 12, 2013

When it comes to essentials, one must not look further than Chanel. In addition to crafting a rich heritage synonymous with the ultimate in French luxury, the maison has engineered a series of must-have cult pieces, predicated on the notion of chic simplicity. Case in point: the tweed jacket.

Originally created with freedom of movement and menswear in mind, it occupies a very prominent place in the canon of timeless beauty. With its iconic design signatures, be it the chain in the hem or the cord-treated pockets, the little black (or vibrantly colored) jacket, registers in a way that is not merely iconic, but neutral, genderless, and unapologetically timeless.

Chanel celebrates the history of this iconic garment with “The Jacket” [above], the fourth in the series of “Inside Chanel” short films produced by the brand in recognition of its heritage. “The Jacket” traces the history of that garment from its 1950s birth, through the reinvention brokered by Karl Lagerfeld in the 1980s, and continues up to today. Rife with bon mots from both Lagerfeld and Coco Chanel herself, it’s a comprehensive guide to the making of an enduring classic.

After toasting the versatility of the Little Black Jacket in 2012 with an international photography exhibition featuring the likes Stella Tennant, Lily Allen, and Alexander Wang in iterations of the garment, the tweed jacket keeps its cool into the 21st century. Infused with a Gallic spirit exemplified by effortless beauty—Brigitte Bardot, Romy Schneider, Vanessa Paradis—the jacket remains the ultimate symbol of easy chic.