Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Art Documentary: Chanel, A Film by Eila Herson and Roberto Gueria

I think the best gifts come as a surprise on an ordinary day, and to my utter delight and wonder, I received a Chanel themed gift which included three films about the life of Coco Chanel.  I randomly chose to view this art film documentary by Ella Hershon and Roberto Guerra called Chanel.

Although I already knew the basic factual elements of Chanel's life, this documentary included interviews with her as well as numerous photos from her archives. There are photos of her many handsome lovers, (and there were many!) In addition, the film includes extensive footage of a young Karl Lagerfeld analyzing Chanel's style using collages that he made from old magazines and newspapers. It was amusing to see him when he was still young, eager to impress and without his many affectations. 

Interspersed through the video are many quotes from Chanel. (If I've made any errors in transcription, they were unintentional.) These are the quotes from Coco Chanel which struck a chord for me:

Fashion is a reflection of the time.

Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.

Simplicity does not mean poverty.

Happiness is something that you sometimes find while doing something else.

Jewelery isn't made to make you look rich, it is there to adorn you.

Let them copy. My ideas belong to everyone.

Only those with no memory insist on originality.

For a woman who had no time for anything other than work and her lovers, she certainly had a lot to say!

A film by Eila Herson and Roberto Guerra
Narrated by Diana Quick
Written and Edited by Richard Howorth
RM Arts 1986