Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel was born in France in 1883 and rose to prominence as a high-end fashion designer in the early 1910s. She was known for her elegant but simple designs and for her outrageous personality. A party themed for her must be elegant and chic, but also lively and raucous.
Chanel was famous for her menswear-inspired suiting. Encourage your guests to wear their most elegant tweed or velvet suits with pearls and dainty heels. If your guests aren't the sort to have such clothing, consider renting a few from a costume shop or scoping out consignment and thrift shops. Everyone loves to play dress up.
Take One Item Off
Coco Chanel once famously instructed women to look in the mirror before leaving the house, and take one item off. Don't tell your guests ahead of time about this racy theme! Once everyone has arrived, tell them to follow her advice -- it may be helpful to pass out the glasses of champagne beforehand. Most will choose a piece of jewelry or other accessory, but some may get daring. Why not remove the blouse under a buttoned suit coat or nylons under a skirt?
Little Black Dress
Coco Chanel invigorated the cocktail dress by simplifying the silhouette and emphasizing the female form. Tell all your friends to come wearing their favorite little black dress, the one that makes them feel the best, the most powerful. Then take some glamorous black and white photos to commemorate the event and give everyone a positive portrait to cherish.
Chanel was a huge name during the heyday of the roaring '20s. Find some deco era glassware in a thrift store or online. Supply everyone with retro coupe champagne glasses and cigarette holders (with candy cigarettes, of course). Teach everyone how to set finger-waves in their hair. Set up a fainting couch and glamorous backdrop, and hire a photographer (or ask one of your friends) to photograph everyone.
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