Monday, September 29, 2014

Coco Before Chanel

by Fontaine, Anne.
Publication Date: 2010
Format/ Location: DVD shelves - Movies section
Call Number: DVD COC

Movie Review
The early life of Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel is a fashion biopic drama about an ambitious person inventing herself.  "Coco Before Chanel," begins with an abandoned orphan girl named Gabrielle, who grows into a music hall singer, then sidesteps prostitution by becoming a mistress. From behind the clouds of her cigarettes, Audrey Tautou who plays Coco, regards the world with unforgiving realism.  

Through the story we learn that Coco did not set out to become the most influential fashion icon of the 20th century. She begins by designing hats, making a little money and striving to better herself. Her true goal is money and independence.  Her fashions may have liberated women from the excesses of the late 19th century, but she creates them not out of idealism but because they directly reflect her strong personality. She didn't put women in sailor shirts out of conviction. She liked to wear them. Coco Chanel was raised by nuns. Was that also her influence? Did she start identifying simplicity in dress with women in power?

At the end of this movie, you are left wanting to know more about this extraordinary woman considered one of the most influential designers for women of the 20th century. It is a story of the early years of a woman who favored simplicity in her style, which lead to a rebellion of extreme feminization in the fashion world at that era.

Posted on September 29, 2014 I Blog post by E.F. (Graduate Student Intern of the LIM College Library)