Chanel and model
Photo by Chanel,


After 15 years of retirement, from the beginning of World War II, Chanel was eventually compelled to return to work following a new burst of male fashion designers on the scene, Christian Dior and Cristóbal Balenciaga among them. A horrified Chanel worried they were ill-equipped to design comfortable clothing for women, and was spurred into action by what she called their “illogical designs”, which included waist cinchers, padded bras, heavy skirts and stiffened jackets. So, despite being over seventy years of age, Chanel decided to return to the world of fashion.