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Published
Dec 21, 2020
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Colette: The Movie

Published
Dec 21, 2020

Just when you thought that people were beginning to forget about Colette, when along comes Colette Mon Amour, the most hagiographic documentary imaginable - about the famed Parisian boutique that is, not the French writer who once lived nearby.


Illustration - Colette Mon Amour - Photo: AFP


 
A store so influential one Japanese customer named his daughter after the boutique on the rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré; a location of such rare capsule collections that a Belgian client stayed in his car outside Colette for four days to be able to buy a special pair of Adidas Stan Smith sneakers.
 
A shopping phenomenon so influential that the likes of Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, Futura 2000, Yoon Ahn or Chitose Abe plus a rat pack of Parisian branches, Guillaume Henri, Lucien Pagès, Caroline De Maigret to Marco Giami, patron of the famed downstairs Water Bar, can barely hold back their enthusiasm.
 
“What makes the building so special is the intensity of Sarah’s taste… She shops for us all, without us even knowing,” intones Williams.
 
Colette opened in 1997 after a mom and daughter – Colette Roussaux and Sarah Andelman – spotted a great empty street corner space close to the Tuileries, going on to blend high and low – from Hermès and Chanel to hip hop and indie magazines – and reinvent the shopping paradigm, before shutting its doors on December 20, 2017.
 
“I think they were the two people who worked the hardest in Paris,” marvels fashion chronicler Loic Prigent.
 
Their DNA never varying: style, design, art and fashion; even if the multiplicity of collaborations and limited editions was bewildering large. The store becoming instantly recognizable in part for its white shopping bags with blue dots; and its uber cool attitude, where none of its 100 seemingly laid-back staffers ever wore a uniform. Many of whom were later hired by the house of Yves Saint Laurent which took over the lease of the shop.


A bag from the Colette Mon Amour capsule


 
Directed with pace and humor by Hugues Lawson-Body and produced by La Pac and Highsnobiety, Colette Mon Amour is, despite an irritating soundtrack of medieval flutes and vibes, a work of charm, capturing two truly unique women, and their inclusive idea of retailing and roll. Those looking for the mean, backstabbing bitchiness of The September Issue will not find it in Colette Mon Amour.
 
The documentary covers the final six months of the store, and in particular the novel idea of handing over the second floor to six different brands – including Balenciaga, Sacai and Thom Browne.
 
In its penultimate month it teamed up with Chanel, which is when this writer last visited Colette, for a podcast with Pharrell. After the final bright embers of an institution none of us imagined would end, it still doesn’t feel quite right that it’s closed.
 
The film launched Sunday on Colettemonamour.com and can be rented or bought.
 

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