世界中で愛され続けるココ・シャネルの秘密 : パリジェンヌの東京映画レポート!

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コラム:パリジェンヌの東京映画レポート! - 第5回



Coco Chanel, fashionable all over the world

「アメリ」のオドレイ・トトゥが若き日のココを演じる「ココ・アヴァン・シャネル」 「アメリ」のオドレイ・トトゥが若き日のココを演じる

Chanel… Everybody knows the famous logo with two interlaced C, and for once, “everybody” is not only a figure of speech. Even if “Mademoiselle Chanel” passed away in 1971, she is today more famous than ever. In 2008, the Monnaie de Paris (the French Mint) minted a gold coin with Coco Chanel’s head drawn by Karl Lagerfeld. But 2009 may be the year of honors par excellence: books, movies, documentaries... Anne Fontaigne has directed an ambitious movie with Audrey Tautou, Coco avant Chanel, focusing on her youth, her first years as a creator and the shaping of her personality. Then, Anna Mougladis plays the role of Coco in Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky, dealing with her love affair with the famous composer. Eventually, a movie called Coco Chanel with Shirley MacLaine, Barbora Bobulova and Olivier Sitruk traces the long way having lead her from orphanage to international fame. As she tends to be viewed as a National Treasury in France, such a success is not surprising… but what about Chanel’s position in Japan?

The love story between Japan and Chanel began in 1954, as a journalist asked to Marilyn Monroe at her arrival at Tokyo Airport what she used to wear to sleep. “Some drops of Chanel N° 5, that’s all”, answered the actress maliciously. This simple sentence was enough to make a whole generation of Japanese men dream: hoping that it would make their girlfriend or wife look like Marilyn Monroe, they offered them a bottle of N° 5…

名女優シャーリー・マクレーンが晩年のココを演じる「ココ・シャネル」 名女優シャーリー・マクレーンが晩年のココを演じる

Beyond that, Chanel benefits of course of Japan’s deep passion for luxury good, as this country is famous for enthusiastically welcoming the biggest luxury brands. This typically Japanese phenomenon can be easily explained by the continuous quest for perfection existing in the Japanese culture, for example in chadô or ikebana… Thus, Richard Collasse, the President of Chanel Japan, describes how his career brought him to notice three different reactions of women when a dress’ thread sticks out: a French woman will grab scissors to cut it; an American woman will take it without any question; and a Japanese woman will point it out and ask everything to be done so that she has an absolutely perfect product.

However, more than luxury and elegance, Coco Chanel well and truly represents freedom, and this is the main feeling given by the various movies on screen this year. She has not been the first one who built a whole luxury empire item by item. But as a self-taught person, she managed to remain independent and to impose her own ideas in spite of being a woman and an orphan. This state of mind influenced not only her own life but also her whole work, since she above all wanted to create clothes that would not embarrass women and let them move freely. So beyond a personal and artistic liberation, she also contributed to revolutionize the perception of women. This may be the reason why she became a legend and still fascinates so much, 38 years after her death…