Couture Inside Out: Chanel

One of our most popular and long-running workshops is Couture Inside Out. This workshop is the rare opportunity to join the Museum’s exhibitions team to view the ins and outs of couture construction; to take an up-close and intimate look at selected garments from the Fashion and Textile Museum Collection.

While we can’t bring this workshop to you in person, we’ll be bringing mini versions to the blog, hosted but our Head of Exhibitions, Dennis Nothdruft! For our third episode, Dennis discusses the work of the iconic Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel.

Dennis describes Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel as arguably one of the most influential designers of the 20th century. Her work pre-WWII helped usher in an era of modern, casual sophistication that helped to liberate the fashionable woman of the Twenties. After a period of exile, Chanel returned in the Fifties, and began to produce the collections that really codified what we would consider the Chanel look. Here we see the boucle jackets, the quilted linings, functional pockets and gilt chains; all still referenced by the house today.

We hope you enjoy this instalment of Couture Inside Out! We’ll be back with Episode 4 soon, in which Dennis discusses the work of our founder and favourite pink lady, Dame Zandra Rhodes.


We do hope you’ve enjoyed exploring the Fashion and Textile Museum online. If so, please consider making a donation, to help us continue our work during this difficult time.

Every donation will support us in showcasing contemporary fashion and textile design during our closure, and will assist us in welcoming you back to the Museum, as soon as we are able.

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