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Coco Chanel, 1929
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Traditionally, women’s fashion becomes more masculine in times when women enter new, traditionally masculine spheres. With the dramatic gender changes of the 1920s came the “Garçonne*” style. Women bobbed their hair, and a lean, boyish, columnar silhouette was favored. Women smoked, drank, went out by themselves, and enjoyed single life rather than aggressively husband-hunting. Coco Chanel stood at the top of the new style of women with her simple, tailored styles inspired by menswear.
*In French, words are gendered, and an extra e is usually added to the end of a word to turn it female. For example, a man who win is a “champion” whereas a woman who wins is a “championne.” ”Garçon” is the French word for boy.