In 1913, Coco Chanel (Anna Mouglalis) is becoming one of the hottest fashion designers in Paris and caught up in a mad love affair with the wealthy Boy Capel. She has come a long way from being an orphan raised by her sister, which has left her detached and self-centered. But she is also infatuated with the arts and is anxious to see the “Rite of Spring” a new work of the composer Igor Stravinsky (Mads Mikkelsen). She meets him the night of the premiere, but unfortunately for Igor, the Paris crowd doesn’t like his ballet and his career suffers greatly.
Seven years later, Chanel is famous and wealth, but heartbroken because her lover has been killed in a car crash. The Russian Revolution is over and Igor is now completely broke, living in exile in Paris. Chanel meets Igor through an introduction by one of the patrons of the Ballets Russes that worked with Igor on his last ballet and their friendship begins. Their physical attraction is obviously and undeniably.
Igor is troubled by the illness of his wife, Katarina (Elena Morozova) and the future of his four children. His reputation was destroyed by his failure with his last ballet and the Russian Revolution has left him without any money. Chanel invites Igor and his family to stay at her new villa, Bel Respiro, in Garches.
The love affair between Chanel and Igor begins and without apology to Igor’s wife. Katarina is furious, but realizes she has a home for herself and her children which her husband cannot provide, so she cannot afford to leave. But when she confronts Chanel about the affair, her anger deepens when Chanel states that she is not ashamed of what she is doing.
Both Chanel and Igor are confident in their abilities, even though Igor has been extremely depressed because of his situation. His affair with Chanel is purely physical and provides stimulation to his genius as it does for Chanel. But Katarina also remains confident and tolerates the affair for many reasons; she knows that it will not last because understands her husband, his music and has his children while Chanel does not. Eventually she believes he will tire of Chanel and return to her side.