Just finished watching Coco before Chanel. My expectations of the film completely is the opposite of my experience of the film. I was hooked from the very first scene when Poor Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel (Audrey Tautou) and sister Adrienne (Marie Gillain) was dropped off at the orphanage by their father, never to see his face again. It was at that point I suspected this is a tear-jerker. This film subtly incorporates fashion into the subtext of the story, I know you say’ obviously!’ But on the surface it was much more than that. It was a tale about setting yourself apart from the rest. Coco Chanel was not born to a rich French aristocrat family, so access to money and opportunity was rare. Also in France in that period what was even more rare was to see a woman working, let alone having a career. Essentially this a rags to riches story. But her success came at a cost, and that being love.

As the film progresses so does her sense of style. When I saw her tailored menswear inspired outfits I realised that me and Madamoiselle Chanel are even more a like than I first thought. Her style is so chic and elegant, without those frivolities that are supposed to enhance femininity. And no it is not the tomboy look, in fact her loose fitting outfits without the framing of a corset essentially symbolises freedom and stepping away from societal conventions.

The stylish apparel in this film is not the only imagery to celebrate. The cinematography stays true to the style of the film and to Chanel. The clean soft lighting adds a certain ‘Je ne sais quoi’; No actually I mean grace to Coco Before Chanel. What makes me more proud of Coco Before Chanel is that it was written and directed by Anne Fontaine. She shows that given the topic of fashion to delve with, women don’t always get carried away, and yes that means you Sex and the City. She brought out the drama in this tale that is so much bigger than fashion.

DS RATED: 8/10

Here are some of my favourite looks from the film. Not that there were many. But it only goes to prove that true taste is priceless and is an innate quality that a few hold.

Coco Before Chanel
Production Year: 2009
Countries: France, Rest of the World
Cert (UK): 12A
Runtime: 105 mins
Director: Anne Fontaine

About Cheryl
Screenwriter and Director in the making. Inspired by music, style, literature and people. Learning to love life more everyday.

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