*le sigh*: Coco Avant Chanel

Quand j'ai vu cette vidéo, il a été le coup de foudre.

Loosely translated, "when I saw this video it was love at first sight."

Ah, Coco -- she is so inspiring!  She blazed her own path to become the icon she is today and I cannot wait to see this film!

The film focuses on Gabrielle Chanel's late 20s -- her work as a seamstress and cabaret singer to her life as a kept mistress of wealthy playboy Etienne Balsan and her fling with a British industrialist Arthur “Boy” Capel, all the while developing her signature style that became de rigeur for the modern woman of the 20th century.

Amy Larocca wrote a fab article for New York Magazine about the movie, Audrey Tatou and Coco Chanel herself:

Chanel was not a kind or an adorable or a particularly well-loved woman. She was, to put it mildly, the anti-Amélie. And it sometimes seemed that her main objective in designing was to point out that anyone wearing the lavish, feathered fashions of the day was basically kind of dim. “She was very severe to women, to people in general,” Tautou says. “You could even say she was misogyne.”

The world had been tough to Chanel, and Chanel was tough right back. It was a lot of work being Coco, even more so in the overwrought and seriously constricting clothes of turn-of-the-century France. “They were like a little jail,” Tautou says, crossing her tiny legs up into her chair. “You don’t breathe; you can’t move. I think she wanted so much to have the same freedom as a man, and the only thing she could start with was the freedom of movement.” Her clothes offered that, although the film suggests that this was not a grand feminist gesture, as one might anticipate from one of the first women to establish her own eponymous Parisian house, but rather a personal vendetta for something like equality, as if the wearing of trousers and tweeds could somehow lessen the humiliation of her dependence on men.

Misogyne or no, I still want to emulate Mademoiselle Chanel's style.

“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” - Coco Chanel

Photo - Conde Nast.jpg