Saturday, August 15, 2009

Coco Avant Chanel

One movie that has stuck with me since I saw it is
Anne Fontaine's 'Coco Avant Chanel'.

This beautifully shot film serves up
an intimate & intriguing slice of Gabrielle's life.

It spans her lonely being as an abandoned orphan
to when she steps over the threshold of becoming
the worshipped fashion legend we all know as
Coco Chanel.

What I love the most about the film
are the stark contrasts that so clearly set the tone
for her future style and sobre approach to fashion.
The masculine vs feminine, the simple vs the ornate,
the unique vs the mainstream, the anti-statement to
what was seen to be the core of femininity
as well as her razor sharp ability
to see the true beauty & feminine intrigue.

Though I have always admired the legendary icon 'Coco Chanel'
I now feel so much more for the woman behind the name.

She is so clearly shaped by the monochromatic
and strict life with the nuns, the death of her mother,
the sadness & resentment towards the father that abandoned her,
the tragic loss of only man she truly loved (Boy Chapel),
the fight to pull herself and her sister out of poverty
and the determined & difficult march towards her goals.

I admire Gabrielle's firm belief in women's strength
(including her own) and the courage & resolve she had
to be able to convince her contemporaries that they didn't need to
undermine themselves or hide behind all that frou-frou.

To me, her ultimate fashion statement is that
no luxury deserves the name Chanel if it isn't comfortable.

And with that, she literally reshaped fashion for ever.

Here are some stills from the film..

You can read more ici.


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