After I finished up my French “lesson” on Sunday, I was flipping through the channels and stumbled on Coco Before Chanel just as it was starting! I’ve wanted to see this movie for a while now, but as with so many things in my life, if it is not directly in front of my face, it tends to get shuffled to the back of my
cluttered multi-tasking, little brain and temporarily forgotten.
The plan was to write and just have something on the telly for background noise, but despite the fact that I can count to 60, tell you that I’m hungry, cold, thirsty and/or tired and give you my position relative to chairs, tables, houses, bridges, etc., my French is not quite up to movie watching (and comprehending) snuff quite yet. Though I did understand like 5 sentences without the help of subtitles!
Sitting watching a movie about the early days of the woman that would become legend (she was the only fashion designer included on Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th Century), it seemed like a no-brainer to do a life imitating art…imitating life post on Coco Before Chanel.
Take tweed for example. So many modern day suits are based on Coco’s classic design.
She refused to be controlled by society’s idea of feminine, or desirable or stylish. She wore pants; she refused to wear corsets and she preferred simple and conformable to the frills and embellishments of the day. Though she wore it to a costume party in the movie, it’s not hard to imagine a woman wearing this today.
Bow ties on women? Yeah, Coco did that too.
Countless brands have offered up a version of the basic blue and white striped shirt the last couple of years and works just as well today as it did back in the early part of the 20th century. So many options with such simple piece.
There is a scene in the film when she is getting a dress for a ball. She picks the fabric and the shop owner tells her how lovely the cloth is in pink and how it would be great for her complexion. Coco quickly dismissed him saying “only black shows off the eyes” and in the next shot she’s stunning in a black gown in a sea of white, cream and pastels. Where would we be without Coco’s little black dress?!?!
White House | Black House is an entire store based largely on it. Stores like Nordstrom give it it’s very own category in online stores (a few of my favorites below. Just click on the picture for details) – it’s the little black dress. A staple for most. An obsession for some. The fashion world attributes the LBD to Coco.