Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky

makes me feel a lot better about the ability of
cinematic costume designers to show us good clothes than the last
about Coco Chanel I saw. The dress he seduces her out
of is just brilliant.

There are two other reasons the movie is worth watching. One is
the piano
lesson he gives her, where he has her play:

[first piano lesson exercise]

and then improvises on it underneath her. If piano lessons
were like that, I’d have stuck with them. But there’s no
evidence that she did.

The other is that the whole first 20 minutes is the original production
of The Rite of Spring that incited the riot. I’ve
never understood before why that music would have incited a riot
— it isn’t that different from what Debussy and other people
were doing at the time. But if you see the costumes and the
dancing, and realize, as Diaghilev remarks in the movie, “They
wanted to see Swan Lake,” the riot makes more sense.

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