Today celebrates the renowned Coco Chanel's 131st birthday. Without the world being graced with the wonderful woman's presence you may have been reading this gasping for air in a corset - eternal thanks Coco! For those who don't know, Coco revolutionized fashion in the most significant way. In a time where corsets and full frilly gowns were the norm, Coco changed the face of fashion and created slender, sleek, simple modern designs for women. Her heavy influence in fashion also pushed the movement of women's rights. Literally making women wear the pants! It's true that life for us women would be much different if it weren't for Coco Chanel. So here's to give thanks to Miss Coco by sharing our 5 favourite timeless Chanel pieces: The Little Black Dress In the early 20’s, black was a color strictly reserved for mourning and was considered indecent if worn anytime else. But it was in a 1926 edition of American Vogue that Chanel published a sketch of a simple, short all-black dress. In its first guise it was cut in black crepe with a high neckline, long fitted sleeves and a hemline that stopped just above the knee. Vogue deemed it “Chanel’s Ford” because, like the car company’s Model-T, as it was immensely popular, widely available and only in black. The little black dress was effortless and women spanning any social class could easily wear one, and look good in it. Vogue also stated that the little black dress would become a “sort of uniform for all women of taste.” And alas, the little black dress as we know today was born. Faux Pearls Thanks to Coco we now have costume jewelry! It was as early as the 1930’s that she began making jewelry, which until then was rarely worn unless real. After shaping the modern woman with a new silhouette and a new fragrance, she realized what was missing, accessories. She wanted to create accessories that could be worn by all so she mixed faux and real jewelry together in order to style all types of women. In 1924 Chanel launched her first line of costume jewellery. Her collection was described by Harper’s Bazzar as ‘one of the most revolutionary designs of our time’. The most recognizable pieces are the pearl necklaces, sometimes interspersed with other glass or crystal beads, which remain a timeless classic. Chanel No 5 Chanel No 5 has been described as ‘the world’s most legendary fragrance’ and remains the company’s most famous perfume and is estimated that a bottle is sold worldwide every 55 seconds. Coco, on the perfume: “I want to give women an artificial perfume,yes, I really do mean artificial, like a dress, something that has been made. I don’t want any rose or lily of the valley, I want a perfume that is a composition.” No 5 is composed of 80 different ingredients, making her perfume much more complex and layered than any other on the market. Chanel was one of the first fashion designers to put her name to a fragrance and she quickly replaced typical perfume packaging for a sleek, simple, clear glass vessel. As for its name, it’s said that Chanel had an affinity for the number five and its official launch date was May 5, 1921 in her Parisian boutique. The Quilted Chanel 2.55 Originally issued in February, 1955, hence the name, the design was actually inspired by soldiers. In the early 1920’s Coco was tired of having to carry her handbag with her hands and drew inspiration from soldiers’ packs to tweak the design of the then traditional purse. She then incorporated a long, extended strap onto her own bag, making it easier and much more practical to carry. The little pocket on the back is also known to be where Coco stashed her extra cash and the brown lining on the inside was reminiscent of her uniform in the convent where she grew up. Over half a century later this bag is still highly coveted with the signature metal and leather chain strap that is so synonymous with the Chanel brand. The Tweed Jacket Giving women minimalism, straight cuts and functionality, all in one piece: the tweed jacket. Yet again inspired by menswear, Chanel took a fabric meant to be traditionally worn by men and reinvented it for women, after realizing it’s sophistication and suppleness would work well with her designs. It was in 1924 that Chanel began working with the Scottish fabric, however it was only in 1954 when she designed the iconic Chanel tweed jacket. The collarless jackets became so heavily associated with her name that we now refer to the style as a 'Chanel jacket'. Its international success was major and the tweed jacket was seen on the likes of Bridgitte Bardot and Grace Kelly, quickly becoming a fashion essential. Check out this fun short clip below by Chanel on Coco's history!