Monday 7 September 2009

French actress Audrey Tautou walks down the red carpet during Japan premiere of Coco Avant Chanel

Audrey Tautou, French actress and star of "Amelie," walks down the red carpet for "Coco Avant Chanel" film premiere event in Tokyo, Japan.

TOKYO, JAPAN (SEPTEMBER 07, 2009) REUTERS - Audrey Tautou, French actress and star of "Amelie," walked down the red carpet in Tokyo for the Japan premiere of "Coco avant Chanel."
Dressed in a dark Chanel suit, Tautou greeted various media, Japanese celebrities and designers.

"Tonight I'm wearing Chanel's dress and you know, it's always a pleasure to be dressed by this famous, very I think elegant and simple," she told Reuters Television.

"Coco avant Chanel", directed by Anne Fontaine, is the latest French biopic to ride the wave created by "La vie en rose", which gave Marion Cotillard her Oscar-winning role as the tortured chanteuse Edith Piaf.

In the film, Tautou played the legendary designer Coco Chanel and coincidentally or not, she took over from Nicole Kidman as frontwoman for Chanel Number 5 perfume.

"It's an honour for me to be so close to this, Chanel and I was very very happy to discover a bit more, Coco Chanel's personality through the movie and I'm very proud today to be the face of a Chanel No. 5, which is the most wonderful perfume and a great success of Coco Chanel," said Tautou smiling.

The film, which has received warm reviews in the French press, tells the story of Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel as she moves from occasional cabaret singer to revolutioniser of women's fashion.

The French actress also appeared as the mysterious heroine of a two minute advertisement for Chanel Number 5 shot by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, director of "Amelie", the film that propelled her to stardom in 2001.

The short film, which took four months to make, shows Tautou pursued by a handsome stranger on the Orient Express train to Istanbul. It replaced a similarly elaborate mini-film starring Australian Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman and directed by Baz Luhrmann .

Chanel offered some items of clothing and locations to the makers of "Coco avant Chanel" but is otherwise unconnected to the film and a spokeswoman insisted that Tautou's simultaneous appearance in the advertising push was coincidental.

Asked if she would play another female in history, Tautou replied: "No, I think that after her, I can't do any other famous woman part", adding: "No, I'm joking, I don't know."

The designer's formidable personality was at least as important as her designing talent in creating the aura of the Chanel name.

"A woman without a perfume is a woman without a future," she once declared and she backed her own future by creating "Chanel Number 5", which became the biggest selling scent of all time.

Chanel, who died in 1971, brought a new simplicity to women's clothes after the elaborate styles of the pre World War One "Belle Epoque" and the little black cocktail dress she created in 1926 remains a fashion staple to this day.

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