“Fashions fade, style is eternal,” Yves Saint Laurent once remarked very aptly. For while some clothing fads breeze in and out of our lives, visionary fashion house heads such as Saint Laurent, Chanel, Dior and others have introduced a number of concepts so timelessly elegant they have simply never fallen out of style.From era-defining heels to obsessed-about It bags to dresses made famous by, well, famous people, these instantly recognizable items will make you fall in love with fashion all over again.
Notifications on. Click to turn notifications off.
Notifications off. Click to turn notifications on.
Drag and drop to sort list. Click to browse.
In February 1955, Coco Chanel introduced the shoulder-carried handbag and changed fashion history. Tired of carrying cumbersome handbags and inspired by the bags used by soldiers, she added a long strap to the bag and made it immensely practical. This changing moment in fashion history made it acceptable for upper class women to carry a bag on their shoulders. Instantly recognisable, the most iconic bag by Chanel is yet to lose its allure, thanks to its elegant timelessness and versatility.
The most recognizable piece of the British brand, Burberry’s trench coat is known for its sleek, classic and refined design. The original piece was designed in 1912 by Thomas Burberry and was crafted with tough and hard wearing gabardine to keep military officers of WW1 protected against wind and rain. It derived its name from the trenches where the officers were stationed. A coat that was never intended for the masses has now become the much coveted item in every wardrobe.
Coco Channel transformed the way we look at wearing black when her Model T dress graced the pages of Vogue in 1926.Decades later, when Audrey Hepburn wore a Chanel dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), the fate of the cult item was sealed. The power of this dress comes from its effortless elegance that lets the wearer shine. Today, the LBD is a true statement piece accessible to women from all socioeconomic background and remains a classic wardrobe staple.
In 1983, Jane Birkin and CEO of Hermès, Jean-Louis Dumas were seated next to each other in a flight. There she complained about never finding a perfect weekend bag in leather. Shortly after, Birkin received a leather bag custom-made for her with a note. Over three decades have passed since Birkin's namesake bag was created and it still remains the most exclusive accessory in the world and symbol of social status.
The root of power dressing can be found in Coco Chanel’s tweed skirt suit that she designed to free women from the restrained cinched-in silhouettes of the 50's. This suit represented a turning point in the way women dressed. In fact, it was the very first professional suit specifically thought for women that enabled them to look modern and feminine while feeling comfortable .Still widely desirable today, the look is still sported by diverse high-profile women.
Christian Louboutin is credited for inspiring lust with the once-overlooked sole of a shoe. In his own words "Men are like bulls. They cannot resist the red sole." This bona fide symbol of status and style was inspired by his assistant. In 1993, while working on a pair of custom-made shoes for a client, Louboutin noticed his assistant painting her nails a bright ruby red colour. The story goes that Louboutin took the nailpolish and began to paint the sole of the shoes. And so the bright red sole became his signature style.
Fashionable sunglasses styles come and go, but few have remained as enduringly chic at the Ray-Ban Aviators. Originally developed in 1936 by Bausch & Lomb for pilots to protect their eyes while flying , these lighter, thinner and 'more elegantly designed ' sunglasses replaced the outmoded flight goggles. Popularized by newspaper photographs of General McArthur wearing them during the WW2, aviator sunglasses became a cultural style, mimicking a military ethos. In the 1970s, aviators with colored frames were worn by public figures like Elvis Presley.
Back in the 90’s, Calvin Klein redefined the LBD and turned it into minimalist casual-looking slip dress. Kate Moss was the first to wear Calvin Klein's slip dress and it became a sartorial symbol for laidback, grunge chic. The dress has recently been revived in what’s known as “the pyjama trend”.
When Yves Saint Laurent introduced the ‘Le Smoking’ – the first tuxedo for women at the height of the feminist movement, it was nothing short of revolutionary in women’s fashion. Wearing trousers was previously thought inappropriate and unseemly for a woman, but Saint Laurent broke the rules creating a look that was empowering and nonchalantly glamorous, allowing women to be both masculine and feminine at the same time.
After WWII, fashion yearned for something more frivolous, colourful and playful. Christian Dior presented just that with the voluminous ballet skirt. The iconic shape he represented was called the ‘New Look’. Today the ballet or full skirt is still popular and is often combined with an edgy leather jacket.
Launched in 1972, Diane von Fürstenberg designed the iconic jersey wrap dress because she wanted a zip-free dress so that she could leave suitors early in the morning without waking them. She explains the success of this flattering and effortless cult classic item perfectly: “Clothes have to reflect women’s liberation. Women today want versatile, simple, classic, comfortable, slimming clothes. This is the story of my success.”
Winona Ryder, Kate Moss, James Dean and Johnny Depp were the original poster children for Levi's 501s, a clear indicator of their cool kid allure. Boyish, nonchalant and with a rebellious air, they're the antithesis of groomed, high-maintenance fashion.
Burberry's signature check is famed the world over, and its scarf - perhaps due to its accessibility - is still one of its more popular pieces.
Classic Fashion pieces don’t have to be expensive; Converse Chuck Taylors (named after the basketball player they were designed for) imbue an understated cool that has stood the test of time. These basketball shoes became a sensation by 1966, when the company started producing them in a variety of colors and, later, materials.
Submit to make your ranking count.