The main turning point in the style of the luxury Chanel brand came with the arrival of the current creative director Karl Lagerfeld who had worked for the Chloé brand before that. This occurred in 1983. Lagerfeld moved away from the typical elegant Chanel look and started to experiment with fabrics and styles.
We can however also register a similar shift in the case of Dior. Marc Bohan, who replaced Yves Saint Laurent as creative director in the 60s, was already complementing the elegant fashion of the 20s with the extremes of contemporary fashion. John Galliano took on the post of creative director in 1997 and shocked the fashion industry with his very first collection: the models in the campaign simulating sex acts.
Both Chanel and Dior have recently always been including something unprecedented, wild and slightly crazy in their collections. Also testament to this is the faces which they choose to present themselves.
For Dior, this concerns the singer Rihanna and the actress Marion Cotillard, whereas the faces of Chanel are the actresses Kristen Stewart and Cara Delevingne. All controversial personalities who are the embodiment of youth and energy. Possibly only with the exception of the French femme fatale Cotillard, who tends rather to represent the ever-persisting conservative style.
The progressive and independent designer Gabrielle Chanel, known as Coco, was the first to start determining the tone of the fashion industry. She was active on the market from as early as 1910. Her collections were dominated by comfortable suits, trousers and the immortal combination of black and white.
However, Christian Dior came on the scene in 1947 and heralded a return to corsets. He appeared after World War Two when his New Look fashion revived business and the economy in Western Europe.
That was when the battle between the two strongest players in the fashion world began. The contest to win over clients has been raging for almost half a century now. Those who adore Dior, rarely go for items by Chanel and vice versa. Chanel has been worn by people such as Elizabeth Tylor and Jackie Kennedy, Dior has become popular with Mick Jagger and Madonna.
Can there ever be a winner in this fashion tug-of-war? And how will the battle of the brands which have set out in the same direction end? Follow our articles about current fashion collections and find out more!