Tres Magnifique: “Coco Before Chanel”


If  you were looking for the double c logo and the Chanel 2.5 bag in “Coco Before Chanel”, you would be annoyed that you never saw it. On the other hand, when I was watching it, I was pleasantly surprised and intrigued to learn about the woman behind the double c’s.

The movie “Coco Before Chanel” or “Coco Avant Chanel” as it should be rightly be called since the whole film is in french, was delightful.  I learned that the woman was so blunt and determined to make a living with her talents, not as a housewife.  I think also the whole film in french gave it authenticity to who the person, Gabrielle Chanel or Coco which was her nickname, was.

I started to see how this woman became the ultimate designer. She never married. Point being, the first time she truly ever fell in love, it ended badly and she couldn’t mend her broken heart. Also, she wanted to be someone, she didn’t want to be someone’s wife. That wasn’t good enough for her. At first she wanted to be an actress and I slightly shook my head because everyone wants to be an actress, but then her friend pushed her in the direction saying that she was a marvelous hat designer and should go in that direction.

Audrey Tautou who played Coco was wonderful. She showed that she didn’t want to be the frilly woman who dressed up and laughed. My favorite lines were when she told her man friend that that the women at the fancy parties looked like carnival directions or too stupid. Also when she picked out fabric and the man wanted her to buy pink and she said I want black, that’s what I want. Woman suffragists in America, you should have totally gotten together with Coco because she would have gotten what you wanted, independence.

Her clothing choice also showed me that her simplicity made her famous. It made her famous because no one knew that simple elegance could look so great.

As always I like to discuss certain shots that intrigued me so here it goes. I loved it when the director, Anne Fontaine, had Coco in a crowd, alone in the center. It showed you that she was different, unique and that she wasn’t one of those frilly woman. One time on she’s on the beach, another time she’s in a crowded room and the last time when it probably was the best for her was when she was dancing with Arthur ‘Boy’ Chapel in her simple black gown. Also the shots of her working and cutting a pattern where beautiful.

The ending of the movie showed you how she became the fashion maven that a lot of woman adore. Being a fashion fan, it was so well done in my eyes and I wished it had been nominated for something more than just one oscar.

Oscar Nominations: Of course it got costume design, its Coco Chanel

Best Costume Design: Catherine Leterrier


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