On the Eve of Coco Before Chanel, We Cast A Sartorial Homage To The Iconic Couturier

We've been waiting with bated breath (and envying our neighbors across the Atlantic who have already seen the film) for the September release of Coco Before Chanel, which features the lovely Audrey Tautou as a young Coco Chanel, the incredibly savvy couturier and businesswoman who revolutionized the way women dress with her menswear-inspired designs, Chanel jacket, and the little black dress. But perhaps even more iconic than the brand itself was the woman behind it, who propelled herself from the poorhouse to high society, redefining the word trendsetter as she tore through conventions and made it hip to be thoroughly modern. In honor of the legendary lady, we dug up some of her most inspiring photographs and interesting factoids, along with some classically chic finds that will have you channeling Mlle. Chanel in no time.
Above, clockwise from left: Audrey Tautou as Coco Chanel; Abaete Lillian Blazer, $257.40 (was $429), available at Chick Downtown; Forever 21 Flower Brooch, $3.80, available at Forever 21; Lanvin Ribbon and Pearl Necklace, about $950, available at Colette; Jennifer Ouellette Turban Headband, $29 (was $70), available at Barneys.
Above, clockwise from left: Audrey Tautou on Coco Chanel's famed mirrored staircase; Viktor & Rolf Cropped Jacket, $369 (was $1,230), available at The Outnet; Hat Attack Summer Garden Straw Hat, $55.77 (was $170.17), available at My Theresa; Ligia Dias Pearl Cuff, about $121, available at Colette.
Cuckoo for Coco! Did you know...
1. Coco popularized the suntan among the fashionable set after she returned from a cruise to Cannes with sunburn.
2. Her zodiac sign was a Leo and she collected likenesses of lions.
Above, clockwise from left: Coco Chanel; Issa Silk gown, $750, available at Net-a-Porter; Maison Michel Bow and Veil Headband, about $207, available at Browns; Marc Jacobs Tweed Jacket, $1,035 (was $2,050), available at The Outnet.
3. The Chanel No. 5 bottle was designed to resemble the shape of the Place Vendome.
4. Coco would have her signature scent sprayed throughout the rooms whenever she entered her apartment.
Above, clockwise from left: Coco in her beloved pearls and Verdura cuff bracelets; Jennifer Ouellette Ikat Headband, $29 (was $70), available at Barneys; Yves Saint Laurent Necklace, about $964, available at Colette; Kenneth Jay Lane Jeweled Cuff, $205, available at Net-a-Porter; Maison Michel Beaded Lace Beret, about $448, available at Browns.
5. Only three outfits were found in the closet of Coco's Rue Cambon apartment when she passed away.
6. A 60-year-old Katharine Hepburn portrayed Coco Chanel on Broadway in 1970. 86-year-old Coco complained that the actress was too old for the part.
Above, clockwise from left: Audrey Tautou channeling a young Coco Chanel's menswear-influenced style; Built By Wendy Striped Boatneck Minidress, $98 (was $135), available at Built By Wendy; Marc Jacobs Pleated Leather Pants, $1,300, available at Saks Fifth Avenue.

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