Coco Before Chanel starring Audrey Tautou (Amelie) and directed by Anne Fontaine, another lady director (!), is coming out September 25, 2009 in New York and L.A. This film focuses on the fashion icon before she became the perfume bottle that nearly every grandmother in America has on her dressing table. Before she made Audrey Hepburn so chic every girl wants to emulate her (including Lily Allen). Before Jackie Onassis set the standard for graceful style in a Chanel suit, paving the way for the fashion forward and opening up a space for our dear Michelle O. Imagine that! A woman with a dynamic life!
This biopic portrays Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel as a George Sand, a Frida Kahlo, a “free woman” as Doris Lessing would put it, wearing men’s clothes bucking tradition and convention all around her. Ironically enough, she has become just that – conventional; failing to attract the likes of youth and instead, being forever the mainstay of fierce grandmothers. Her house of style is the epitome of modern sophistication with a touch of Old World class. No longer edgy, no longer daring, but, in fact, quite safe. Her style has somehow become timeless and classic. That elusive feminine grace of the women who wore Chanel has been so deftly applied to the hard lines of the men’s suit in its many variations over the years. While the turn of the last century seemed to be a pretty vibrant period for Western women coming out and establishing themselves, sartorially, politically, and personally this film is a celebration of the American dream. A rags-to-riches story of a woman who never marries and achieves ultimate success.
It just does not get any better than Chanel.