Do you know Coco Chanel?
Browse our list of the biopics, films and books dedicated to the fashion icon, and you will
Chanel Solitaire (1981)
A romantic (and slightly fictionalised) look at Gabrielle Chanel’s early life and love affairs with Captain Arthur Edward “Boy” Capel played by Timothy Dalton and Rutger Hauer as Étienne Balsan, this film features French actress Marie-France Pisier in a touching performance as Coco. The film was supposed to have spent $1 million on costumes alone.
Coco Chanel (2008)
Shirley MacLaine gives a dramatic (bordering on hammy) performance as Coco in the ’50s, in a three-hour-long TV movie. Sit through the entire duration for a fast-forward view of Coco’s rags-to-riches story.
Coco Before Chanel (2009)
An obvious current-day choice for Coco, Audrey Tautou is alluring in the lead role. The movie winds through Coco’s early years with a lot of focus on her relationship with “Boy” Capel, his encouragement of her brand and the impact of his death on her.
Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009)
The movie is a fictional take on the rumoured affair between Coco and music composer and pianist, Igor Stravinsky. The film had the blessing of current creative head of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, as he opened up the house’s archives for research and allowed entry into Coco’s Rue Cambon apartment.
Coco And Igor (2002)
Chris Greenhalgh pens a highly fictionalised account of the alleged affair between Coco and Igor Stravinsky in the year Chanel No. 5 was made – 1921. Music acts as the backdrop for the book – there are 83 chapters, the same number as the keys of a piano. The book was adapted into the 2009 film, starring Anna Mouglalis and Mads Mikkelsen.
The Allure Of Chanel (2008)
A rare insight into Coco’s thoughts, Paul Morand’s book takes us through his conversations with her during the end of the Second World War. Coco unabashedly talks about her friendships, love affairs and famous creations with Morand, who was considered to be one of the privileged few in her inner circle.
Sleeping With The Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War (2011)
A highly controversial narrative, Hal Vaughan exposes the hidden years when Chanel closed down her couture house and went away to live a quiet life in Switzerland. Chanel’s rumoured collaboration with Nazi officials, her affair with a German spy and her anti-Semitism form the crux of the book.
Coco Chanel: The Legend And The Life (2010)
Justine Picardie gives the reader an insight into the early, formative years of Chanel. From being an orphan at a convent to growing into the high priestess of couture, Picardie writes about Chanel’s rise from rags to riches.
Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life (2012)
Released shortly after Vaughan’s book, author Lisa Chaney’s work sheds more light on Chanel’s hidden truths. Chaney writes about this highly influential, but misread woman – her numerous liaisons, lesbian interludes, drug use and Nazi involvement.