Saturday, June 13, 2009


Chanel HK invited their VIP customers and the media to screenings of Anne Fontaine's (could she also be of the white shirt fame?)"Coco Avant Chanel". The HK office had three screenings--the first at 2:30 and the last at 7PM for clients who all came in their Chanel finery mostly from the new collection (this is HK afterall). The media screening was at 5PM and despite torrential rains, many people showed up. From matrons to media, everyone was clad in their own interpretation of how to wear Chanel.

Wasn't Oscar material (the film, I mean) but it certainly had the 'best-dressed' movie attendance. This is the controversial poster banned in France (because they have embraced a non-smoking law that also seems to apply to posters) but used in Asia, the last stronghold of smoking.

YES, We got given Coco Pops (corn). Isn't this cute? Of course we had a choice of sweet or salty. They also put a bottle of fizzy water in every seat but without a Chanel bottle holder which they did last time at the couture.

And this is what we got for braving the rains---a sample of Chanel No5. I think the taitais got a nicer gift (of course!) which I think could have been a pillow or large scarf because they had huge bags! Ah--what money can buy!!
(Meanwhile, those who attended the Tiffany's lunch received--get this---a single, miniscule diamond on a chain)
My movie review:
The movie is good but not great, meaning I don't think this is going to win any best picture or best screenplay awards. BUT the film wins by sheer marketing genius. Even if it was not bankrolled by the Chanel company (but they lent them the apartment and clothes) and the set-design was not spectacular because of the period of her life this film covered, it will be a blockbuster in cinemas simply because---WHO DOESN'T OWN AT LEAST ONE THING FROM CHANEL--even if it is just a lipstick? Now that's the market.
(Another personality doing a movie 'about fashion' is Tom Ford)
Take note that the movie title is Coco AVANT Chanel which means the beautiful clothes we know and love don't come out until an hour and half into the film. Meanwhile, you can go through your wardrobe and decide what to wear when the clothes get better which is after the billiards scene. They get even better after Boy Capel dies but by that time it will be the end of the film and the parade of clothes comes down from the mirrored stairway.
Lessons we all can learn from this film aside from independence and hard work:
1) Straight guys don't really care what you wear except perhaps if they are French. In fact, if you dress like a tomboy, they'll probably like it better. (See Boy Capel's reaction to Chanel's early versions of her polished look we know today)
2) A wealthy man is useless if he doesn't let you spend HIS money. (The HK Chinese have a term for this "A safe without the key") Notice that Chanel left the manoir of Etienne Balsan in the same ratty suit she arrived in. Clearly he added nothing to her wardrobe.
3) It's usually better to be a mistress because you get the man (sometimes) and the money (all the time) without the social responsibiltiy. On their first weekend away, Boy Capel takes Chanel to a haberdashery and notions shop to buy fabric. This is probably akin to getting a new dress from Bergdorf's (NOT from the Fifth Floor).
4) Marry for money and it will be very hard work 24/7.
Marry for love and it will be heartache..if not most of the time, eventually.
You do the math. Just make sure you have a key to the safe.


Anonymous said...

the film is going to be a blockbuster.I've been watching the trailer all over again on youtube.

LorenzoHK said...

love your pointers !!! in fact, the entire film is a series of quotable quotes (about life, men/women and love) that only the french can dispense.

i also liked that fashion wasn't front and center and so-in-your-face in this film. but it did show some of the purported sources of chanel's design inspirations that are stuff of legend, such as the blue-striped slouchey bateau-neck fishermen's sweaters, her appropriation of jersey fabric ('stolen' from her lover Boy Capel) for her fluid dresses, etc etc.

altogether not a great great movie, but a nice, quiet one just the same.

Sam said...

I love this piece. I am in class right now, but guess what, I am trolling on Ms. Kitty's site as the professor tattles on. I am so bored that I am actually wishing for a hypoglycemic episode to end my presence in this classroom, and be excused for the rest of the day!!!! Never underestimate the comic relief Mama Kitty brings!Thank heavens for CHTF!!

Jeve (aka John and Steve) said...

Tre chic!