Thursday, November 5, 2009

Coco Before Chanel (Rhoades)

Coco Before Chanel” Channels the Fashion Diva
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

My mother used to spritz a little Chanel No. 5 behind her ear for special occasions. You’d think it was Love Potion No. 9. My dad seemed to like it.

This potent perfume was perfected by fashion maven Coco Chanel. Her signature fragrance was the first to have a designer’s name attached to it.

Although Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel was born in a poorhouse in 1883, she rose to the ranks of high society as head of a major fashion empire. Trained as a seamstress, she opened her own millinery shop. With the backing of several rich lovers, the modern-minded French femme parlayed this into clothing designs and jewelry and scents.

She once told Harper’s Bazaar that “simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” Her haute couture was a symbol of this design philosophy.

Chanel’s impact was so great, she was the only person from the field of fashion listed on Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century.

“Coco Before Chanel” – a biopic about this designing woman – is currently playing at the Tropic Cinema.

Audrey Tautou stars as Coco. You’ll remember the French actress from her delightful turn in the film “Amélie.” And her more serious appearance in “The Da Vinci Code” with Tom Hanks.

Here, she makes a convincing Coco Chanel. “Coco Before Chanel” (or “Coco avant Chanel” as it was titled in French) tells us of the young Coco. The affairs, the drive, the fashion sense.

As it turns out, she never married. “There have been several Duchesses of Westminster,” she once explained. “There is only one Chanel.”

The company must have liked the film. Audrey Tautou is now the official spokeswoman of Chanel S.A. You might call it a commercialized reincarnation of Coco.
[from Solares Hill]

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