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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 May, 2005, 18:02 GMT 19:02 UK
In pictures: Style icon Coco Chanel
Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel
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Thirty-four years after her death, the work of celebrated fashion designer Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel is being marked by a special exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. (All photos provided by the Metropolitan Museum)
Blue silk evening dress (1927-1928)
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Coco Chanel is credited with revolutionizing fashion, liberating women from confining corsets and introducing them to freer, more casual elegance.
Chanel black evening dress (1937)
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Coco said that in stark contrast with the clothing seen in her youth, she wanted to give women "the possibility to laugh and eat, without necessarily having to faint".
Chanel black dress (1925)
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In the 1920s she produced her signature "little black dress" - which went on to become a fashion staple for women everywhere.
Chanel suits
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Similarly iconic was the Chanel suit - with its clean cut lines, round neck and contrasting colours at the collar and cuffs.
Chanel peach lace dress (1937)
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But although best known for the simplicity of her suits, Chanel also provided floating, lace evening dresses.
Camellia brooches (1930-1941)
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Chanel set a trend for wearing large costume jewellery, designing and developing an array of trinkets inspired by the Art Deco movement of the 1930s.
Chanel chain (1985)
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Accessories were still the order of the day for the Chanel fashion house when German designer Karl Lagerfeld took over as Chanel's chief designer in 1983.
Chanel day ensemble (1995)
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The large jewellery that Chanel had popularised in the 1930s was back in the 1990s, along with the clean, tailored lines.
Coco Chanel in evening dress
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With her designs offering hidden luxury over ostentation, and mixing of male and female lines, Coco Chanel's style remains influential and relevant today.

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