Today’s wardrobe recap is on a movie which I only just watched recently – Coco Before Chanel, starring Audrey Tatou. When I first watched the movie, I assumed I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do a wardrobe recap as I had read reviews that this was definitely not a movie about “fashion”. However, this was still a movie about Coco, who as we all know had incredible style.
Please note that this movie is yes, Coco before she became “Chanel” – so most of what you see is of her early life, as she’s beginning to define her formative style. It was amazing to see how many of her early looks are still relevant today. I thought the movie was very inspiring – her life, her conviction, and yes, her style. Enjoy!
Our first look with Coco – here in her part time day job as a seamstress. Hmm, I wonder where that leads to?
Next, Coco in her full “traveling” outfit. I love the hat she wears, and you see it throughout the film. So refreshing, especially once you realize that during those times most women were wearing giant, jeweled feathery things on their heads!
Next, a quick shot of her nightgown in bed. Isn’t it simple and chic? Makes me want to buy one of my own and lounge around in it all day, especially come summertime.
Next, austere in a perfectly pleated blouse.
This is one of the first scenes where Coco begins to customize her lover’s clothing to suit herself. Here, she’s just snipped off the long edges of his tie to make herself this bow.
I like this scene. This is when she’s walking to dinner in this super floofy dress…
…and then decides that despite the fact that her lover gifted it to her, she can’t bear to wear it. Instead she grabs one of his shirts and starts customizing.
And this is what she ends up with! I love this dress and she wears it throughout the movie.
Next, lounging in silk pajamas. So chic! I never thought of silk pajamas for myself (just seems so luxurious), but I found this nice set for under $150 that I’m really thinking about.
Next, an evening menswear look. I love the white cuffs sticking out, very elegant.
Out for a walk by the sea in a men’s tweed coat. Beautiful fabric and love the little hat. I do think you have to have delicate features to pull off this look and still have a feminine air…and of course and it doesn’t hurt to be as pretty as Audrey Tatou.
I know it’s not the best shot, but I had to include the best screen grab I could get of the evening dress Coco designs. So light and elegant compared to the gowns around her. And no opera gloves!
And in her classic sailor’s breton tee. I love this. I still wear and love my old Splendid one and the brand’s dolman version is one my wishlist.
If you want one like Coco’s, it’d be hard to do better than the original from Saint James!
Later on in the movie, you see the tee again – but she’s belted it to give it some shape.
This is what I call Coco’s “Judy Blume” moment – agonizing over decisions to be made under a tree. I love her little tweed blazer, and you can find a very similar jacket at under $250 (even less when there’s a code/sale) from J.Crew.
I couldn’t resist adding one more shot of this custom shirtdress of hers – I love that they made this one of her signature early looks in the movie.
Ah, well…now we see Coco…embracing the Chanel! In her studio (making hats), and you see her style has already shifted. I spy a classic Chanel pin.
Next, we continue to see more of the sophisticated Coco (and the adorable Audrey Tatou we all know and love) with some evening looks. You see the hint of a sequined gown here.
But what I really love is the jacket and little white silk scarf she layers on over the gown when they leave their event. It makes a sequin jacket seem like an almost practical purchase…though if I were to pick one up, I’d probably choose a less expensive version like this Topshop velvet one, for under $75.
Lounging again in a new pair of silk pajamas. I actually found a pair of pajamas from Olivia Von Halle which I think is inspired from exactly this look (just read the product description). Warning – a bit pricey though!
Out again for some evening entertainment. I chose to include this look because I think it looks quite classic and modern even for today – just a white blouse under a clean black jacket and some scattered diamonds on a long chain.
Next, we see Coco throwing herself into her work and starting to make clothes. I included this shot because I love her classic black onyx pink ring. Super chic and a great signature piece to have!
Next, in a classic white silk blouse, navy skirt and draped pearls. This could come out of a catalogue today – maybe made more modern with the sleeves rolled up, with booties.
And next, almost in the reverse, with a navy long sleeved blouse tucked into an ivory tweed skirt. Gorgeous!
A few shots of Coco’s first fashion collection. Isn’t it amazing how so many seem like they were from recent collections? It’s a reminder of how strong the brand’s aesthetic is.
And one final shot of Coco – in her signature suit in pearls, making sure every last detail is to her liking. I think this was the perfect outfit to end the movie in.
Wow – that was a longer wardrobe recap than I thought (and I had to edit some items out too!). Lessons learned?
1. Comfort is key. A point that Coco makes throughout the film is that women should feel comfortable and not restricted in their clothing – only then can they move freely. An apt observation in the age of tight corsets and binding skirts with too many layers. A reminder that when buying clothing, whether for an evening event or just casual use – always make sure that you can move and feel at ease.
2. Don’t be afraid to be “different”. Sorry to sound like an elementary school poster, but it was very inspiring for me to see how Coco rebelled against the traditional fashions of the times and wore what she simply liked best. Sometimes I can feel a bit weird when I like the dress that none of my friends do (or to be honest, when I like the dress that everyone else does, because then you end up matching). But either way it’s best to just follow your gut and wear what you like…life’s too short to worry about what everyone else thinks!
3. Chanel is forever. I hesitated a bit with this one because I don’t want to seem like I support just buying all kinds of Chanel items with abandon, because unless you have unlimited funds and space, that simply isn’t practical, or true. Plus, let’s face it – like with any brand, Chanel makes some duds. But seeing some of Coco’s clothes in the film and how timeless they are is a reminder that if you pick the right Chanel item that makes you feel great – whether it be a bag, jacket, shoes, jewelry – and take care of it, you can probably wear the piece forever.