‘TIMELESSNESS’: IT IS A TERM UBIQUITOUS IN FASHION, REPRESENTING THE ICONIC SILHOUETTES OF HISTORICALLY POPULAR DESIGNS. BUT WHAT MAKES A PIECE TIMELESS?
When it comes to fashion, everybody loves talking about those classic, timeless, and essential pieces. They fit everyone well, they are comfortable and safe, and perhaps make good investments. Of course, it is good to know how to build a nice wardrobe, how to wear our garments; but beyond this, ‘timelessness’ in terms of fashion design is also a fascinating phenomenon which deserves to be discussed in greater depth; because if there’s anything we know about basic wardrobe classics, it’s that you will wear them on repeat—as you should.
I have always wanted to find out the formula of a timeless fashion piece. Is it simplicity? Is it a hidden complexity, or it is luck? What are there some ‘secret’ ingredients?
The Burberry Trench:
Initially developed for the military in 1912 by Thomas Burberry to keep officers protected against wind and rain, each feature on a trench coat has been specifically designed for a reason. The trench coat serves as the foundation of the Burberry brand and is as relevant now as it was when the label launched in 1856. Today, is a style staple among the A-list due to its versatility; from office tailoring to decadent evening ensembles, the coat really does go with everything and acts as a perfect layer inbetween seasons. Wear yours oversized and with sleeves rolled up for a modern look. Over the years, Burberry evolved and today, it’s much more of a lifestyle brand that you can see on catwalks and fashion shows
The Gucci Loafers:
With its distinctive snaffle-bit detail, butter-soft leather and almondshaped toe, the Gucci loafer inspires more devotion than any other shoe since 1966.The horsebit detail on these handsome loafers is a reminder of a key element in Gucci’s history. From its inception, Gucci has balanced glamour with a level of quality that’s reliant on artisanal production techniques.Combining the comfort of a moccasin with a natty formality, Gucci loafers have long been the footwear of choice for that group of international travelers once known as the “jet set”. Today, it’s an iconic shoe, and in fact it’s the only shoe that is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and it has been so since 1985.
A Birkin is not your average handbag. It is known for its superior craftsmanship and jaw-dropping price tag, with standard models starting around $12,000. Since its creation in 1984, the HermèsBirkin has gradually become the most exclusive bag in the world, propelling the French luxury brand to its elite status in the fashion world today. Making a Birkin bag comprise four main stages, starting with the selection of raw materials. From the tanning of calf leather to the specialised treatment for crocodile skin, Hermes pays meticulous attention to quality control and the provenance of the leather and skins used for the Birkin. With an interminable waiting list, and that is only if you are well connected, it appears that the probability of buying a Birkin from a Hermes store is on par with winning a lottery.
With a career spanning more than 40 years, ManoloBlahnik has become one of the world’s most influential footwear designers. His shoes have spellbound an international set of adoring and loyal devotees. ManoloBlahnik’s 1994 Mary- Jane Campari is a house classic; aficionados will know that this season saw the almond-shaped toe shift slightly, thanks to a shorter, pointier last. ManoloBlahnik is sometimes described as the fifth lead in Sex & the City, and in a scene Carrie Bradshaw while she stumbled away in the Vogue Accessory Closet mentioned this pair an an ‘Urban Shoe Myth’. The Mary Janes have become one of ManoloBlahnik’s most icnonic styles and like Kate Moss herself have stood the test of time well.
The Chanel Tweed Suit:
Tweed is a classic fabric and one of my personal favorites. Many know of the iconic fabric, but only few know if its origin. Coco Chanel designed the tweed skirt suit as a way of freeing women from the restrained cinched-in silhouettes of the 50s, she mixed masculinity and femininity to create something entirely new. Still widely desirable today, the look is still sported by diverse high-profile women from VeronikaHeilbrunner and Alexa Chung to Vanessa Paradis and Kendall Jenner. The tweed trend spread like wildfire, with a magazine image of actress Ina Claire clad in a brown tweed Chanel dress igniting the spark. The look quickly became popular throughout couture houses in Paris. The boxy jacket, fitted skirt, metallic buttons and braided trim have quickly become a modern classic. Chanel again hit on a moment in time and made something timeless.
When Gabrielle Chanel created the 2.55 in February 1955, a scandal ensued. It was the first bag for women to come with a shoulder strap – a detail that offered freedom from the impractical constraints of the clutch. It was considered rebellious, even uncouth, but women were enraptured the practicality it afforded. Chanel herself loved the way she could slip both hands into the pockets of her coat, striking a free, determined pose. The 2.55 was a revelation, and instantly became a house icon. The 2.55 also marked the introduction of the two lasting Chanel signatures. The deep burgundy hue of the interior was inspired by the designer’s childhood uniform at the Aubazine Abbey orphanage, and the diamond-stitched quilting was borrowed from the jackets worn by men at the races.
The Cartier Love Bracelet:
Born in the 70s, Cartier’s Love Bracelet is a subtle yet feminine jewelry piece that never upstages an outfit, adding an understated elegance. Early versions of the Love Bracelet featured gold plating while more recent designs are created from solid gold. Inspired by the chastity belt and the idea that symbols of love should be everlasting, the bracelet’s unique charm lies in its locking mechanism. Rather than slipping onto your wrist, two C-shaped halves unhinge to clasp together before being screwed on with a miniature screwdriver included with each bracelet, reinforcing the idea that love is not to be taken lightly.
The Burberry Scarf:
In the 1920s, Burberry saw its next great brand breakthrough with the creation of its iconic check, a Scottish tartan design with a beige base, accented by black, red, and white. Originally, the check was only sewn into the company’s coats. In fact, it would take more than forty years from the check’s origins for the design to become a fashion statement of its own. The Burberry scarf was created in 1967. Its origins were the result of a happy accident. The manager of Burberry’s Paris store wanted to add a splash of color to a display of trenchcoats. He placed some of the coats with the hem facing out, showing off the “house check” pattern. Burberry’s signature check is famed the world over, and its scarf – perhaps due to its accessibility – is still one of its more popular pieces. The pattern has had a revival since the 1990s, and Mario Testino’s campaign Featuring Kate Moss in a Scottish Wedding Setting, in 2000 created an even bigger buzz around it.