One of our favorite actresses, Audrey Tautou, is starring as Coco Chanel in the upcoming movie Coco Before Chanel, one of a few recent Chanel movies. But as the title hints, the film will focus on Coco’s life before she was known worldwide for her little black dresses and quilted handbags, a time you might not be as familiar with, unless you’ve read one of the many books about her. Here are a few things that might be covered by movie, which begins production September 15 in Paris (with dresses from the Chanel collection and Karl Lagerfeld supervising the re-creation of costumes and accessories!).
Coco was named Gabrielle Bonheur after the nun who took care of her mother in the hospital. She started calling herself Coco when she worked as a cabaret singer.
The name on her birth certificate read “Gabrielle Chasnel,” the “s” in her last name being a misprint. Can you imagine all of us talking about what clothes from Chasnel we like for fall?
She was brought up in an orphanage because her mother died when she was 12 and her father was out of the picture.
Coco had a relationship with a wealthy horse breeder named Etienne Balsan, who should be played by Ralph Fiennes in the movie (in our opinion).
Arthur “Boy” Capel was another of Coco’s gentlemen friends. He was an English polo player, and he helped finance Coco’s first shop and influenced her style, mostly through his masculine blazers.
Coco was really into horses.