Now: Chic, sparsely decorated sportswear and accessories, bringing back the blouse and the camel coat. Designed by Phoebe Philo, one of fashion's most closely watched trendsetters.
Founded by Coco Chanel in 1909.
Then: Hats. Chanel was a milliner before expanding into ready-to-wear and couture.
Now: Irreverent use of house codes and logos on streetwear-inspired biker boots, surfboards, snow skis. Constant reinvention of Chanel's classic knit suits, little black dresses, quilted handbags, ballet flats. Designed by Karl Lagerfeld.
Founded in 1947.
Then: The New Look silhouette with a cinched waist and full skirt, heralding the end of World War II restrictions on materials.
Now: Sharply cut, 1940s-inspired suits, demure barrel-shaped coats, romantic bias cut gowns, dressing French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. Designed by John Galliano until he was fired in March for an alleged racist outburst.
Founded by Guccio Gucci in 1906.
Now: Sleek, 1960s-inspired sportswear and gowns, leather goods. Designed by Frida Giannini.
Founded by Jeanne Lanvin in 1889.
Then: Hats, followed by matching mother-and-daughter clothing.
Now: Asymmetrically draped dresses, grosgrain ribbon-trim, bold costume jewelry, Michelle Obama's $540 sneakers. Designed by Alber Elbaz.
Founded in 1854.