What would Coco do…?

This week Jane and Beryl went down the rabbit hole and found not Alice, but Coco Chanel, at the Mademoiselle Prive exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London's King's Road. Here, art and fashion meet and turn both into their best selves. This astonishing spectacle encompassed every aspect of the Chanel empire. Beryl and Jane had their little fashion heads totally turned and quite frankly would have bought anything if it had been on sale or indeed if they could have fitted into it.

Malcontent, we had to make do with our own wardrobes, a poor second, but here are the results.

Jane often favours the white tux, and indeed, if she is feeling brave wears the entire white suit. This one came from Top Shop via Mind for a whole £15. Like Coco, she knows the value of androgynous dressing. For those who like a trouser, and Jane is definitely one, this is a top choice for almost any evening event. Her satin trousers came from the bargain basement of Mount's Bay Trading Company in Penzance for a tenner. Her Gina shoes cost a bomb but are 15 years old and still rocking.

Beryl is wearing a vintage Saks at Fifth Avenue jacket with white satin double collar and cuff, which was actually free (!) in an end of season 'buy two get a third free' at the Black and White Shop, Bath, with the skirt of a St Johns suit also bought there. The shoes are Cynthia Rowley and were an expensive buy but at least 13 years ago and still being worn. The buttons are so Coco.

The traditional Chanel jacket can be a bit stiff and starchy looking, but Jane and Beryl love this cardi version which Beryl has worn many times with a black dress or trousers. The cardigan was £120 (ouch!) and from Olsen, but the trousers were from Whistles via Cancer Research for £7.

What about this skirt! Beryl found it at a local sale for £5, and we felt we must include it for its glorious Chanel pinkness. The top was also second hand (£15) and picks up on the swathes of black velvet seen with diamonds, Coco's original designs from 1932 reimagined by Karl Lagerfeld in the exhibition. 

Scene from Mademoiselle Prive.

What Jane wore to London that day: little did she realise before she left home how much she owed to Coco with this outfit. Mademoiselle would have loved the freedom and practicality of these clothes as she was a thoroughly modern woman, who embraced comfort as well as style. The wide-legged trousers and plimsoles are very much in line with her Deauville influences.

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