5 posts tagged "Audrey Tautou"
As some of you may recall, after seeing a preview screening of Coco Avant Chanel, I sent the call far and wide for a pair of white silk, navy-trimmed men’s pajamas like the pair Audrey Tautou, playing Chanel, wears in the film. Thus far, I have no leads. I have, however, found out two things, both good to know: 1) Apparently, most men these days sleep in their briefs, at least judging by the great diminishment in department-store real estate dedicated to natty sleepwear; 2) Araks is launching an organic range of sleepwear, which includes, in its debut, a pair of white cotton-batiste pajamas trimmed in cotton twill that, although different from my Coco pajamas, serve the look just as well. The pajamas also come in navy, and designer Araks Yeramyan assures me that white-with-navy trim is doable, provided there’s demand. So here’s a new call far and wide: Get demanding.
First off, I don’t like biopics. So when I went to see an advanced screening of Coco Avant Chanel yesterday (the movie opens in New York and L.A. on September 25), the film already had three strikes against it—the aforementioned dislike of biopics; a firm belief that when movie people tackle fashion, nine times out of ten they get it all wrong; and Karl Lagerfeld’s recent diss on Audrey Tautou, who plays the late, great Coco. For all that, I liked the movie. Filmmaker Anne Fontaine has made a fine film about a young woman discovering her passions, personal and professional, and if you work hard to get away from the mythos of Chanel and treat Coco Avant as a conventional love story, then you, dear reader, will probably like this movie, too. Particularly likable: the conceit that Arthur Capel, the English gent who bedded Chanel and then funded her business, fell for her initially because of her amazing sense of personal style. Here’s to that! And this neat bit of dramaturgy—I expect the truth was rather more complicated—is of a piece with the film’s real respect for the art and craft of fashion. There’s a great sequence at the shore, for example, where we watch inspiration dawn on Coco’s face as she sees fishermen dragging in their nets, and in the next scene, she’s wearing one of their boat-neck, sailor-striped tops. And beyond that, Coco Avant Chanel gives fashion its due as a form of expression, a medium for speaking one’s mind about the layout of the world at present. This is welcome. The problem with Fontaine’s movie, however, is that whenever you take the blinders off and recall that the Coco on-screen is a version of the woman who launched what is arguably the single most important brand in the history of fashion, you can’t help but feel like the woman at its center is a bit small. At no point do you feel yourself in the presence of a radical imagination. And there’s something disappointing about the way the film treats Chanel, the brand, as a secondary love affair—the thing Gabrielle Chanel settled for creating once her grand romance with Capel ended. Maybe that’s how it was; I don’t know. I do know that Coco Avant Chanel has inspired me to get out my credit card: If anyone knows where I can find a pair of white silk, navy-trimmed men’s pajamas like the pair Tautou wears in the film, please let me know.
A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous. That’s just one of Coco Chanel’s many long-lived bons mots. Well, we’re going to wager that Mademoiselle Chanel would have been proud of her celluloid stand-in Audrey Tautou’s ensemble at last night’s Paris premiere of Coco Avant Chanel, which easily hit both marks. In the spirit of the legendary designer’s belief in ease, Tautou sported her couture dress—a strapless and bubble-skirted floral number (look 54 from Spring 2009)—with nary a hint of preciousness. She even topped it with a boyish little Chanel black leather jacket, sleeves nattily pushed up. (Hello, what’s more Coco than that?) With her cute cropped hair and minimal makeup, Tautou gets a big oui from us for a pretty perfect off-screen scene, but tell us what you think. Was Tautou perfectly cast ou non?