Did Coco Chanel have an affair with Igor Stravinsky?

Stravinsky and Chanel have become the subject of books and films as a result of their alleged romance

Gabrielle

While Stravinsky’s estate denies the romance, Chanel gave details to her biographer and the label supported the making of the 2009 film Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (chief designer Karl Lagerfeld granted access to company archives and Chanel’s apartment was used for the Paris scenes). However, the implication that the tryst inspired both Chanel No. 5 and a successful revision of The Rite of Spring.

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One of the most notorious connections between fashion and music was the relationship between Igor Stravinsky and Coco Chanel, as depicted in Chris Greenhalgh’s 2002 novel.

Coco and Igor is a fictionalised account of the couple’s affair in 1920, when the designer loaned her Parisian apartment to the composer and his family who had recently fled Russia in the wake of the Revolution.

Greenhalgh’s book was the basis of the 2009 film Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky, which sees the young couturière attend the 1913 Paris premiere of The Rite of Spring. Impressed by its artistic risks and unperturbed by the audience riots, Chanel bankrolls the Ballets Russes production.

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Read our reviews of the latest Stravinsky recordings here