Avoiding the formulaic trap that made last year’s Coco Avant Chanel biopic seem like a made-for-Lifetime movie, Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (coming to DVD next month) is a mature, thought-provoking and often unsettling, unflinching look at the torrid yet ice-cold affair between the rich patron of the arts and the struggling (and very married) musician (it’s the “wrong of spring,” if you will). Director Jan Kounen’s complex, considered style brings to mind the ’70s-era work of Bertolucci or Bergman; little is explained, but all is shown. I loved it, and am looking forward to seeing the behind the scenes featurette (unfortunately, looks like there isn’t a director commentary).
Surprisingly, Coco Chanel hasn’t been the subject of all that many biopics — what few there are have been are recent, making it seem like a proliferation. We had a terrible, trying, awful, boring and soapy (do you get that I didn’t like it?) miniseries starring Shirley MacLaine a few years back. Then there was the somewhat better, but still strictly tv-entertainment level version starring the usually wonderful Audrey Tatou as the pioneering fashionista. And finally, the very good (but still not definitive) film starring Anna Mouglalis as a chilly and commanding Coco.
Did you know that Coco Chanel was the only person in the field of fashion to be named in the Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century?
Katherine Hepburn played Coco Chanel in a Broadway musical in 1969.
Timothy Dalton and Rutger Hauer are in the 1981 film version, Chanel Solitaire, directed by George Kaczender and starring Marie-France Pisier.
Marilyn Monroe’s favorite perfume was Chanel No 5.
But Wait… There’s More!
“I don’t know why women want any of the things men have when one the things that women have is men.”
“Fashion is made to become unfashionable.”
“Look for the woman in the dress. If there is no woman, there is no dress.”
“Elegance is refusal.”
Here are some great pics of the beautiful Coco herself, then several from the breathtaking photo-spread posted at Style.com of the 2010 Resort Collection. Karl Lagerfeld’s old world style was, dare I say…? tailor made to stroll along the Venice Lido catwalk.