We see her again in 1930, wearing trousers and a sailor’s shirt, with her short hair blowing in the wind. For quite some time, Gabrielle had done nothing like anyone else. For quite some time, she had discovered the happiness of letting her skin darken under the sun’s caress while spending time in 1920 on Lido’s beaches in Venice in the company of Misia Sert. A life lived in the open air, punctuated by the discovery of sport and leisure, which she indulged in with pleasure: golf, skiing, yachting, fishing, etc. And of course, horseback riding, a passion that began with Étienne Balsan in 1906, which continued with Boy Capel, a distinguished polo player, and the Duke of Westminster.
Activities that inspired her to create a wardrobe that was not yet called sportswear, but which laid a foundation that was more current than ever. “I invented the sports dress for myself; not because other women played sports, but because I did. I didn’t go out because I needed to design dresses, I designed dresses precisely because I went out, because I lived, for myself, the life of the century.”* * The Allure of Chanel by Paul Morand, Hermann, 1996.
Gabrielle Chanel and her dog Gigot at La Pausa, 1930
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