Coco Before Chanel: Film, Fashion and France

The film tells the story of the early – and not-at-all easy – life of Chanel before she was the world-famous fashion designer we now know.  And in the film you get a feel for the independent, actually rebellious, designer she would become. 

I remember seeing a documentary about Chanel on French television and being surprised to learn that she was the first person to put women in pants, to use Jersey as a woman’s fashion fabric, to insist that clothing have pockets (so practical) and, most important, to think about a woman’s comfort at all times.  You get a clear sense of this in Anne Fontaine‘s film and it’s fascinating in light of where fashion has gone since – and thanks to – her.

And it’s not just a girls’ film – I know this because I took a quick little survey of the men in the audience.  That Atout France treated us to champagne before the screening, and that some of the guests sipped throughout the film, had nothing to do with everyone’s good cheer.

Atout France has put together a terrific web page with a video preview as well as links to all the places in France that are important in the film.

I’m loving this season because, with both Julie & Julia and Coco Before Chanel, France is getting the star turn it deserves.

Dorie Greenspan

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