Paris in July 2016 is a challenge hosted by Thyme for Tea. This year I have been very busy, and have not had time to read anything much connected to Paris. I am still on Nana by Emile Zola, and hopefully I will be able to finish it.
In the meantime I did watch a French movie, Coco avant Chanel. It is about the life of Coco Chanel before she became famous. It actually ends with her first fashion show. It starts when she and her sister are put in an orphanage by their widowed father, never to see him again. They strife to achieve something with their lives, singing in a bar or show place during the night, and sewing during the day to make ends meet. Her sister Adrienne, meets a baron and they fall in love. She is settled in as his mistress in a big house, but they can not married due to objections from his family. Through the baron and her sister she meets Étienne Balsan and she becomes his mistress. After a while he leaves the city to go back to his ancestral home. When the sister leaves, she takes her last money to go to Balsan for a visit, that become permanent.
Through Balsan she meets an Englishman, Boy Capel, and falls in love. They start a love affair, although he is to marry a rich heiress. She finally manages to leave Balsan's place and goes to Paris to open up a hat shop. It is during the time with Balsan she starts dressing in her own peculiar way and starts making hats for his friends. This is the start of her business in Paris, where she finally, after a devastating event in her life, goes into making clothes. The relationship between Coco and Balsan is quite interesting and they seemed to have been wanting the best for each other.
I really liked this film and the story of Coco Chanel is a fascinating picture of a woman with determined views on which she did not hold back. She fought herself for everything she achieved in her life, and that is impressive. Especially, since there were not any women in the fashion industry at the time. The actors are excellent and Audrey Tautou as Coco, looks very much like the real person. If you are interested in these kind of films, I can really recommend it.