Monday, February 1, 2010

Coco? Oui, oui!

Coco Chanel (born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel) lived from 1883-1971. In those 88 years she went from being essentially a poverty-stricken orphan to one of the most influential people of the 20th century. I've wanted to watch the American television movie Coco Chanel on Lifetime Television for a long time. I took my recent flight to South Dakota as the perfect opportunity to get some movie time in. The movie stars Shirley MacLaine as a 70-year-old Chanel and Barbora Bobulova as the young Chanel. 
It was really interesting and totally inspirational. Not only did it make me want to start calling my studio mon atelier and my dog mon chien, but it made me want to go out and actually make an impression - not do things like everyone else and not be afraid to stand out.

They say it takes hard work to be successful. I read about hard work in Seth Godin's book Small Is The New Big last week. He says, "Hard work is about risk. It begins when you deal with the things that you'd rather not deal with: fear of failure, fear of standing out, fear of rejection. Hard work is about training yourself to leap over this barrier, tunnel under that barrier, drive through the other barrier. And, after you've done that, to do it again the next day."

That's what Coco did!

In the film, Coco and her sister travel to Deuville on holiday. While there Coco asks,"Why can't women be as free as men?" to which her sister replies, "Because that's the way the world is. I don't think you can change that." Coco responds, "Really?" with a twinkle in her eye. She proceeds to restructure the way womens' wear is approached. Completely. In doing this she pushed the social boundaries as well as fashion boundaries. (Think confused stares, dirty looks, and rude comments.) 
What she was promoting was branded 'indecent' and 'grotesque' but she knew it would work: "Women have to wear clothes even in times of war, don't they? Women need to be comfortable - rich women because they no longer have their maids to dress them and the poor because they need to work. and they'll all be dressed in the same way." 

I must admit, even considering the sentimental love story and endearing character development, one of my favorite parts of the film was when Coco was designing her own logo:
The next film on my list: Coco Avant Chanel

To see more of the empire Coco began, visit
All images captured from the film.


  1. You're so cool Megan - I love how you see and receive the world through so many mediums!

  2. Have you seen Coco before Chanel? I thought Audrey Tatou did a fantastic job!

  3. I haven't. But it's next on my list!!! I watched the trailer and it was eerily similar - can't wait to compare the two.