The incomparable Chanel.
Monday, December 29, 2008
"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." – Coco Chanel
As part of my Christmas of Catching Up (on reading, on sleeping, apparently also on cheese consumption), I finally watched Lifetime's recent original film "Coco Chanel", which I probably downloaded on iTunes at least two months ago but hadn't actually gotten around to viewing yet.
To be perfectly honest, I wasn't expecting much, but I really, really enjoyed it. The cast—mostly unknown European actors, peppered with snippets of Shirley MacLaine as an aging Mlle. Chanel—was completely engaging, especially Slovakian actress Barbora Bobulova, who took on the bulk of the Chanel role. The story, just a snippet of Chanel's storied life, was nicely paced. And the fashion. Oh, the fashion! Truthfully, I wasn't sure Lifetime (known more for its adoption-related sob stories, of which I am also a major fan) could do real justice to a fashion movie, but it was great. So great I had to take fuzzy screen shots of some of my favorite moments for inspiration, for both of us. Let's go to the snaps…
The movie focused mostly on the teens and 1920s, which was a great glimpse into the elegant French designs of the times. Like long wrap dresses!
Chanel gets her first pearls, and I immediately become kind of pearl-obsessed.
Hats! Furs! Jackets! Oh my.
Of course, now I totally want a dramatic dotted lace veil.
Like want one a lot a lot.
While Coco unfortunately channels Mary Poppins here, her rival Gabrielle gets the fab hat, great dress and vibrant purple gloves.
In one of my favorite scenes, the elderly Chanel decides to dress up her niece in the chiffon curtains. She gives Maria a total run for the curtain clothing money.
Seriously have half a mind to take down my window sheers right now.
Love the hat, the top, the silky tasseled necklace…
My other favorite time in the film was the WWI years spent in Deauville. Long skirts; little hats; slim, elongated silhouettes with nipped waists. Perhaps even more important because finally, I totally and completely get Marc Jacobs' spring collection.
Finally, no real Chanel biopic would be complete without a bit of the famous stairs at 31 Rue Cambon…
Overall, the film was nicely done and I give it two green thumbs up. Next up to tackle the role of the iconic designer will be Audrey Tautou (who Barbora is fairly reminiscent of) in Coco Avant Chanel, sometime later in 2009… For now, I leave you with some choice Chanel quotes.
"Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions."
"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous."
"Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury."
"Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress."