We are celebrating great set design in this new series about films in which interiors play a major part.
One of my favourite films of the last decade featuring beautiful interiors is Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky by Jan Kounen (2009), adapted from the novel by Chris Greenhalgh. It focuses on Coco Chanel’s alleged love affair with Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, whom she invites to stay in her villa outside Paris, along with his wife and children. The summer months that follow see Chanel and Stravinsky begin an affair, one which Stravinsky’s wife cannot avoid noticing.
The film is set in the early twenties and has a carefully composed, very strong aesthetic that evokes the spirit and style of the period. Yet even more so it celebrates Coco Chanel’s striking, highly individual and innovative take on design.
Coco Chanel’s country house, Villa Bel Respiro in Garches, was reconstructed for the film with a great sense of detail and atmosphere. The overall decor, designed by Marie-Heleme Sulmoni, is focused around a black and white colour scheme. Interior furnishings are streamlined, yet often in a somewhat playful way, while the materials are luxurious and rich in texture.
Patterns on walls and furnishings vary from geometrics: blocks, Greek keys, checks and stripes (often with a playful wiggle) to intricate embroidered florals and lace.
A touch of chinoiserie-evoking glamour in a few statement pieces lends the scheme some personality and edge. The handsome outfits worn by actress Anna Mougaglis, who elegantly plays the role of Coco Chanel, are a natural extension of the décor. Or was it the other way around?
Enjoy the beautiful images of this film below! I hope they will enthuse you to watch it fully, and do not miss my round-up of interior furnishings that evoke the impeccable style of the film at the bottom of the post!
1 pierre frey ‘kubus’ fabric // 2 brass lampshade // 3 wood trim with little greene ‘jack black’ paint // 4 bone inlay serving tray // 5 louis xvi style chaise longue // 6 jim thompson black silk ‘pailin’ curtain fabric with osborne and little ‘looped rouche’ trimming // 7 wine glasses // 8 black lacquer coffee table // 9 frette ‘essentials analogy’ duvet cover // 10 pierre frey ‘metropolis’ fabric // 11 brass ‘clifton’ bed // 12 emery et cie ‘méchants oiseaux’ quilt // 13 greek key rug