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There have been two fairly recent films about Coco Chanel....

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WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:37 AM
Original message
There have been two fairly recent films about Coco Chanel....
They are Coco Before Chanel and Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky.

Why I bring this up here in the most political part of DU is because I believe the thematic drive of Chanel was a strict adherence to form which was dictated by a simple respect for the contrast between white and black.

Bear with me for another moment.

In the first movie, Coco Before Chanel, she was finding herself in a world that defined women by what they wore and to whom they were married. Not what they did, not what they stood for, but basically how they fit into the patriarchal world of the late 19th century and early 20th century.

You can see Coco come alive as she realizes that she has the power to be defined by what she is and what she does.

She literally took womans fashion from Bustle and train to sleek figure enhancing elegance defined by simplicity of style and form.

In a way, very similar to the approach of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

She essentially liberated women from being objects and allowed the female form to be revealed in it's un enhanced beauty.

Again, look at the lines in a Wright building and you see form melding with function and this was just as true with Ms. Chanel's take on fashion.

These expression of Ms. Chanel came at a time of great upheaval in the order of the world. Revolution was in the air and conflict between the traditional forms of government to a more,in many places, liberating participatory government. But it also brought with it the brutal repression of the individual just when the world was starting to find value in the lone voice.

Needless to say, I was spell bound by the look and subject of these two French movies.

I have no idea why I gravitated toward these two movies but I am glad I did because it exposed me to an artist that I never took seriously and never realized what it was that she did for women.

She was, in a sense, a revolutionary figure who created the basic style of a century.

And of course, this too affected the political and social nature of the early 20th century and help usher in the liberation of women.

Now I do not care about what she did in her later life, I only knew her from her perfume and the funny SNL skits based on her commercials, but both these movies opened my eyes to what the world was like 100 years ago.

I especially loved the opening scene from Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky and the way the crowd reacted to the premier of Rite of Spring which now seems tame compared to what was passed off as music in the later part of the 20th century. (I still don't get John Cage.)

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CaliforniaPeggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. Interesting take on things...
I think I get what you're driving at here, esp.in regards to Chanel and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Form melding with function, form that allows you to see the great bones that underlie that function.

This is true for both Chanel and Wright, whom I am more familiar with, being that I'm interested in architecture.

Thanks for your insights...

Recommended.

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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:08 AM
Response to Original message
2. The scene in Coco before Chanel
at the end where she sits on the stairs while her garments are shown is remarkable. She has taken clothing from the time where women dressed like Christmas trees, restricted and adorned with everything they could find, to elegance and freedom. Her boldness was marked at the beginning, when she walked into the formal party in her tailored dress.

Like you, I learned to admire the woman after seeing that movie.
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WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:52 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. How about that scene when she was sitting under that tree
with all the golden riches of fall surrounding her and just as the camera gets close to her face she shuts her eyes and turns away...
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 03:14 AM
Response to Original message
4. Coco Channel & Frank Lloyd Wright both were ahead of their time, as well as
timeless due to the simplicity of their lines. I adored Coco Channel's progressive approach to life when I watched the miniseries on Lifetime several years ago. I'd like to see the two you mentioned, also.
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 05:13 AM
Response to Original message
5. Chanel allowed women to move freely in their clothes and to define themselves
rather than a patriarchal society. And always with style.
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NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 06:32 AM
Response to Original message
6. oh, how i miss posts like this on GD...
that was good. now for a cigarette. :smoke: oh crap, my smilie will cause a flame war! put it out, put it out! :evilgrin:
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WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thank so much for that compliment...
I love picking things like this and writing about them as to how it relates or reflects on politics.
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sufrommich Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 05:59 PM
Response to Original message
8. I've only seen Coco Before Chanel and I loved it. I'll have to
keep an eye out for Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky. There were many brave women who broke the bonds of their era, they should be celebrated.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 06:03 PM
Response to Original message
9. Recommend for the coversation. Nt
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
10. She allowed women to breathe--and it had a subtle, but tangible effect on ALL of society.
I've been a Coco fan since I was a kid.

From this:


To this:


(I've made peace with the fact I just don't care for Cages as well--but I love Stravinsky!)
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WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. the movie is almost worth watching for the first 15 minutes when the
audience at the Rite of Spring goes wild.
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