I cannot wait to see Coco Avant Chanel. The gorgeous Audrey Tautou (of Amelie) stars as Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, a woman who changed how we wear clothing, what we wear, how we think about clothing and how to accessorize.
The film is visually and cinematographically stunning and the costumes are divine. How wonderful to have been involved in the wardrobe department for this film? I have been waiting for the French to make this film forever. It is no wonder that we’ve waited so long, we had to wait for Audrey Tautou, oui?
Coco is known for inventing the Little Black Dress but it is the iconic Chanel couture jacket which I believe is Chanel’s true legacy. There are many construction details that distinguish it from a traditional tailored jacket. The silk lining is quilted directly to the exterior fabric, the long exterior seams are machine sewn, as are the shoulder seams. The interior lining seams and the outside edges of the lining are turned under and hand stitched to the edge of the jacket.
Then the three-piece sleeve (a Chanel feature) is hand sewn to the body of the jacket. The heavy trims, cast metal buttons and the curbed chain sewn to the hem have a functional purpose by adding weight to the garment. The end result is a supremely comfortable garment that feels more like a sweater than a jacket.
Chanel was a genius. The elements of her designs have changed very little throughout the years, which is testament to Karl Largefeld and his exemplary skill as art director for Chanel since 1983.
She was a woman with innate style and she knew how to project intelligence, class and sophistication by the way she dressed. What’s so fabulous about this is that she was a teacher of style and passed on her skills to the women who wore her clothing and to the fashion editors who wrote about and photographed her clothes. This has trickled down from the fashion elite to the bottom rungs of the fashion world – those of us that can only dream of owning an original Chanel garment. We may own Chanel sunglasses or maybe even a handbag, but that’s as close as we will come to fashion nirvana. Sigh.
She also knew what to say and how to say it. I will leave you with a few of Chanel’s famous quotes.
Need I say more?