Monday, September 28, 2009

Coco Before Chanel

On Saturday I escaped a play with far too much shouting and ran into the arms of lush, period bio-pic, Coco Before Chanel...quelle relief!
Tea at the Paris Ritz, original art, 9" x 11"
The film charts the rise of an ambitious, difficult woman as she made her way finally to Paris and became the icon we all know. I only wish Tautou had been as tough and fierce as I imagined Chanel to be. But the film is so beautifully shot and executed - I recommend it highly.
Tea at the Paris Ritz, original art, 9" x 11" will take you along Coco's route through France as well as offer you a chance to win a trip to Paris. Do it!In the last scene Coco is sitting on her famous mirrored stairway (so she could easily see at a glance what was going on in all the floors of her couture house!) waiting for the show to begin. I hope there will be a sequel.Photo by Douglas KirklandLast Spring I heard famed photographer, Douglas Kirkland speak on his time shooting and shadowing Chanel for 3 weeks when he was a young man for Look Magazine.Photo by Douglas KirklandPhoto by Douglas Kirkland
Just 27 and he had never been to Paris before!
Can you imagine!
Photo by Douglas KirklandPhoto by Douglas Kirkland
At first he was only allowed to shoot the models, never Chanel. But she was soon charmed and he had carte blanche...

Photo by Douglas Kirkland
The best tidbit? In those 21 days, Kirkland never once saw Chanel remove her hat.
Did you know you too can stay at Chanel's apartment at the Ritz?!

Suite #302 - 3 rooms overlooking Place Vendome, were home to Mademoiselle (as she was always called), for 37 years from 1934 until her death in 1971 at age 89. The Ritz has lovingly restored with assistance from Karl Lagerfeld every small detail...

A Vogue video tour of Mademoiselle's apartment...

Photo from This imaging of how the perfume bottle Chanel No.5 is exactly designed to fit the shape of Place Vendome was cleverly photoshopped by
Et enfin the trailer for Coco Before Chanel!


  1. Anonymous8:08 AM

    Oh thank you for this wonderfully informative little retrospective of Mademoiselle's life. Always so interested in anything Coco.

  2. Well, how clever are you! I did not know about the shape of the perfume bottle... I cannot wait to see the movie. Great information. Merci.

  3. I couldn't understand the French and couldn't read the Japanese subtitles fast enough but I still enjoyed this movie :)

  4. you really didn't need the dialogue
    It was all eye candy Kat :)

    Theresa, I'm not the clever one (except that I found it). That fabulous Chanel #5 image is from!!!
    There is so much more there on Chanel too!!!

  5. Don't think I'll sleep some day in Chanel's apartment but I already get the talc powder for men. That's a good start. Not sure I like that kind of human being but I shall see the movie. Nobody knows!Maybe I'm wrong.
    Have a good week

  6. Cynthia10:04 AM

    Viva la Coco.......wonderful post today!! I love your blog but don´t comment often enough how much I really like is too cool!

  7. Do you have any idea who Chanel’s advertising agency is or how I would get a letter to Karl Lagerfeld?


  8. Jannine10:56 AM

    Simply GORGEOUS today from top to bottom..
    I would LOVE to read more about Chanel - will look at the books in your sidebar.

  9. beautiful work.....................

  10. Such beautiful subtle color!

  11. Dying to see it. Not so easy to escape to the movies with a 2-year-old...might have to wait for the DVD.

  12. That is so interesting about the shape of the perfume bottle. I was once lost in Paris and stumbled upon the Place Vendome completely accidentally. It's amazing.

  13. Yum... Such design, such taste... I can't wait to see this!!!

    Fabulous!!! Thanks. Ooh La and la... Yummy today.

    ( LOVE the transparent language on the side...really great idea)

  14. I can't wait to see this! And merci for all of your wonderful research xo

  15. Merci Carol, a film I think I may just see...!!

    Did you meet Dawn, Leesa's friend, that lives in Paris? I had the honour of showing her around Oxford today. She was over in London with her husband, (business meeting for him) so she came up for the afternoon :-)

  16. I can't quite imagine Audrey as Coco, but it sounds delightful. I'll have to try to catch it sometime. Thanks for the heads up. My mother always wore Chanel #5. ;))))

  17. L'embarras du choix today!

  18. Foodwalker4:20 PM

    I can't wait to see this!
    Saw Bright Star yesterday.

  19. wow amazing image of place vendome and the chanel no.5 bottle. I knew that before but to see it again in that exact way is just so clever of Coco Chanel. Love the movie to bits, and Paris as my backdrop is just unforgettable!

  20. Thanks for posting about this great woman and fashion icon.What I like most about the movi is that it is an inspiration for women to dare to dream and stand for yourself (as true to yourself)!Merci;)

  21. Beautiful job, Carol! I love the photos (and your art work, of course!).

  22. Love this post. Great painting and I love reading about Coco Chanel.

  23. Bonjour! Paris Breakfasts,
    This is my first time posting on your blog.
    I must admit that I have been a lurker for quite some time,
    but after reading your review about Fashion Icon Coco Chanel, I had to post and compliment you, on the layout of the film Coco Avant Chanel. I also like the way you combined Mademoiselle Chanel, real-life with the film...
    ...and your beautiful artwork too!
    Merci de partage!
    DeeDee ;-D

  24. Fabulous reading! I love a good story, thanks for sharing! Your watercolors are divine!!!

  25. Chère Carol,
    Today's P.B. was extraordinaire! I forwarded it to my daughter
    Can't wait to see the movie ....
    Merci mille fois!

  26. I love your blog. Paris is my favorite world city and you do a
    fantastic job evoking it!

  27. I cannot wait to see this movie! I saw the previews for it on Saturday. I'm so excited.

  28. "Super", as we say in France, this post! It has everything... and I learnt about the Chanel 5 design!

  29. Anonymous7:11 AM

    Nice blog.the images of coco before chanel movie is also very nice...

    Coco before chanel


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