See the evolution of Chanel's iconic boots, the heroine of 2017

Text: Andrea Sim

As Karl Lagerfeld imbues pre-fall 2017's boots with the maison's two-tone legacy, we cast an eye over Chanel's distinctive silhouettes from the last three decades

Coco is to Chanel as Steve Jobs is to Apple. No matter the brand's evolution, it harks back to the iron clad foundations laid down by its visionaries. In the realm of fashion, Gabrielle Chanel's designs and innovations were as subversive as they were practical. The effortless little black dress her notion of paring-back in a time of excess, her decision to dispense with the corset weighed comfort over societal expectations; and the designing of the first widely known two-tone shoe purely for its stylistic versatility.

Her mantra reads: "With four pairs of shoes, I can travel around the world." Ever the pragmatic, it was a quality that shocked men and women of her time, but yet, compelled the latter to mimic her tastes and preferences. 

Chanel two-tone boots pre-fall 2017

As the original trendsetter, it is no surprise then that Coco's beliefs continue to heavily inspire Chanel's current helm decades down the road. Karl Lagerfeld has reimagined the two-tone concept on many other shoe silhouettes and paid tribute to her love for boots time and again — both of which come to the fore in pre-fall 2017's most prominent accessory: A mid-calf version rendered in suede and satin. Its contrasting cap-toe, profile and elegant embroidered script (it reads 'Gabrielle Chanel Coco') all telltale signs of her enduring legacy. 

So as the house's shoe of the season is tipped to find its foothold in our lives, what better time than now to delve into the past and reminisce the notable boots from Chanel that have come before this? From its PVC release in the '90s to the "loose-fit" knee-highs and skin tight thigh grazers of the '00s, their boots might've gone through facelifts over the decades, but Gabrielle's soul remains. Her qualities — that grounded sensibility, that gumption and brazenness — till today an inspiration to Lagerfeld's iconic silhouettes, proving them indispensible to starlets and the everyman alike. Witness the evolution, above.

Available at Chanel boutiques.


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