Wednesday, November 20, 2013

COCO CHANEL - An Accidental Star!

 If there were another woman, with whom I could be as infatuated as I am with my wife, it would be Coco Chanel. Not the young precocious Chanel who accidentally did more to liberate the world of women (without even intending to) than any suffragette, but the old version; after sixty five or so. She had far overcome the impetuousness of youth and settled into a more seasoned honesty and mature truth.
The universe of womanhood might easily be divided into the opposing era of Before Chanel (BC), and (AC) After Chanel. Clothes make the woman. The era BC was marked by women's fashions deliberately designed to subvert liberation. Fashionable women embraced the notion that their valuable assets were best displayed by squeezing the middle, corseting and bulging the top and front, padding the hips and panniering the rump and thighs.
The hourglass masquerade left men engrossed; surveying contours and jagged terrain, fantasizing about "what fun it is to ride..." rather than engaging in eye level conversation. Men are dogs.
The era AC brought about a tectonic shift in fashion. With her straight lines, flowing dense fabric, and disuse of shaping undergarments, Chanel shifted the total focus from below the neck. A woman can be viewed as tastefully, expensively dressed and now real conversations can proceed eye-to-eye.
Did the liberation engendered by her new fashion lines cause women to become deeper, freer thinkers. Frankly, I don't know. Viewing this old recording of Chanel makes me believe that she made her clothes just for herself. Obviously she had no physical assets to push-up or pop-out. Perhaps there were thousands of other women with the same dilemma. Serendipitously the fashion caught on; she became a talented, hugely capable, accidental star.
In the little film, even if you have no idea of what she's saying her voice is so melodic; her grace, movement,  and intensity makes her perfectly, unpretentiously loveable. Sometimes I wish I didn't understand any French at all.

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