Coco Chanel
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FAQ for
Coco Chanel (2008) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel [1883-1971] was a French fashion designer who rose from designing hats to running a successful fashion house in Paris to designing costumes for Hollywood movies. This movie is, essentially, a biopic of the early years of her life.

In her early years as a seamstress, Chanel also sang in a cabaret. It's said that was where she got the name 'Coco,' possibly derived from a song, 'Qui qu'a vu Coco dans le Trocadro?.' [English: 'Who has seen Coco in the Trocadro?]' that she performed at a cabaret in Moulins, as shown in the film. The song is about a little dog named Coco who wanders off, hence the singer asking, 'Who has seen Coco...? However, a bit later in the movie, Coco tells Boy that her father used to call her Coco. 'He'd wake me up shouting 'cock-a-doodle-do! It soon became Coco-doodle. And it stuck.' This was most likely a fabrication, as Coco Chanel was known to be very secretive about her humble beginnings, often making up untruths. Another story goes that, during her first years as a cabaret singer, she was named 'Coco' as a shortened form of 'coquette', the French word for a flirtatious woman.

The movie presents the life of younger Chanel (Barbora Bobulova) as flashbacks framed by an elderly Chanel (Shirley MacLaine) attempting a comeback after a 17-year absence on the fashion design scene. The main details are accurate. For example, Chanel's mother died of tuberculosis and her father abandoned her to a Catholic orphanage. She was mistress to a rich French textile heir named Etienne Balsan and had an affair with English polo player 'Boy' Capel, who financed her first shop. Capel died in a car accident in December 1919, and Coco herself never married. However, the movie does not detail the years of her life when Coco was a Nazi intelligence operative during WWII and used her position to take control of the profitable 'Parfums Chanel', which was held by the Jewish Wertheimer brothers, Pierre and Paul, directors of the eminent perfume house Bourgeois. Nor does it mention her relationship with the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky.

No. Chanel lived her entire life in France and never lost her accent.

Yes. Prior to Coco Chanel, there was Chanel Solitaire (1981). In 2009, two movies about Coco Chanel were released: Coco avant Chanel (2009) and Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009).


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