I could not help but notice what creativity and beauty was born as a result of the termination of the ‘rumored’ affair between Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky in Paris France in the summer of 1920.
The French film directed by Jan Kounen which was shown in the closing of the 2009 Cannes Film Festival was based on a novel by Chris Greenhalgh about a ‘rumored’ affair between Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky in Paris in 1920.
Though Stravinsky never spoke of this ‘affair’ Chanel did at great length to her biographer Paul Morand in 1946.
The story begins when in 1913 Igor Stravinsky ( Russian Composer) goes to Paris France along with Diaghalev and Nijinsky to perform his modern ballet The Rite of Spring. It takes place at the theatre Des Champs-Elysees and this is where the young couturier then just a newly celebrated designer Chanel who is part of the audience, meets Stravinsky for the first time.
Unfortunately for the 20th Century composer, pianist and conductor his modern ballet provoked an outrage and Stravinsky returned to Russia.
It was not until seven years later in 1920 after the revolution in Russia that brought about such drastic and devastating changes that Stravinsky along with his ill wife and 4 children moved to Paris. It was Coco Chanel who was then successful and famous and a great admirer of Stravinsky’s work, invited Stravinsky and his family to live with her in her villa just outside of Paris.
Here at her villa in the summer of 1920 Chanel and Stravinsky engaged in a love affair. It was the termination of the affair that had a major influence on both the lives of Coco and Stravinsky. In fact the closing or ending of this affair gave birth to Coco Chanel’s first fragrance Chanel No. 5 and Stravinsky began to compose a new more liberated style of music.
What we learn about love, the sharing of love, the giving of love is not where it will lead to, how it will end but rather the things that are evoked from within us as a result of opening up and allowing love to enter our lives.
It matters not how long you love someone, where the journey is going to take you or not take you, but rather the beauty that comes from expressing love.
Stravinsky was so moved that his music changed. Chanel went beyond just designing clothes and so they made their mark in history as a result of that brief moment in time they shared.