Coco avant Chanel is a textbook example that a compelling story, the perfect actress and gorgeous visuals doesn’t necessary equates a fantastic movie. If I hadn’t been the consummate fashion geek that I am I would probably have been bored with this movie. Heck, even though I am a fashion fiend I found the movie slightly dull at times. Maybe my expectations was too high? Coco avant Chanel is not bad, but it’s mediocre.
As the title suggests it’s mostly about her life before she became a designer, but her clothes still runs like red thread throughout the movie. The movie makes a good case of Gabrielle Chanel being a pioneer and how the designs was closely linked to her views on women’s liberation.
Also for all you sewing geeks out there, there is plenty of sewing in this movie. And she does a couple of really cool refashion projects, like merging details from a men’s shirt with a dress and tweaking a riding outfit. The movie is also peppered with background stories about her style signatures, like the bow tie, the sailor tops and jersey cardigans.
My problem with Coco avant Chanel is that I find the movie disjointed. The shifts between the fashion, the sewing, her love life, and her life story in general aren’t exactly seamless so to speak. And it lacks a dramatic drive. But if you have any kind of interest in fashion history and/or Chanel I’m sure you will still find this movie a worthwhile watch.
Other fashion movies that I have reviewed:
Valentino – The Last Emperor
The September Issue
Giorgio Armani – A man for all seasons
Marc Jacobs/Louis Vuitton and Lagerfeld Confidential
Yves Saint Laurent and Signe Chanel