Georgian Mother and Daughter Who Were Exclusive Models for Coco Chanel
01 November, 2015
Georgian Mother and Daughter Who Were Exclusive Models for Coco Chanel
Few people know that Coco Chanel used to have two exclusive models working for her – Melita Cholokashvili and Lilia Zelenskaya, mother and daughter – and that both were Georgians. Melita’s portrait by Russian painter Savely Sorin is currently part of Tbilisi State Museum’s permanent exposition.

Georgian Journal cont
acted Melita Cholokashvili’s niece Nino to hear her aunt’s life story:

– Georgian poet Titsian Tabidze called her “divine Madonna.” All the Georgian intelligentsia gathered in Melita’s house. She was educated in a gymnasium in Tbilisi, and at the age of 20 she fell in love with Konstantin Zelinski, a brilliant lawyer famous for his outstanding appearance, who was 20 years older than her. Zelinski pampered her a lot, but their idyll didn’t last long. Despite being very successful in society, he very quickly grew too dull for the 20-year-old girl and after a child was born, their relations became tense. They divorced soon after their marriage but remained friends for the rest of their lives. It’s curious that after leaving her husband she fell in love with a poet named Sergei Rafalovich, who wasn’t notable for his appearance at all.

Portrait of Melita Cholokashvili by Savely Sorin
geotv.ge
Melita left Georgia in 1921 together with her daughter. At first they arrived in Constantinople and stayed for some time but found life there to be very hard. Having learnt about the hardships of his ex-wife and daughter, Zelinski arrived in Constantinople and took them to Paris, returning to Tbilisi alone afterward.

Before marrying Sergei Rafalovich who at that time lived in Paris, my aunt began to work for Coco Chanel as a model. Back then people wrote that she wasn’t photogenic at all and no photograph could capture her beauty properly. Hence it’s impossible to judge her solely by her photos. She had peculiar manners and a demeanor that charmed Coco Chanel and made even those who were objectively more beautiful pale before her. She was very charming, wore dresses perfectly and everything she was clad in attracted everyone so much that any clothes she demonstrated were sold instantly.

Sorin, who painted Melita’s portrait, also said that all her beauty and charm was best revealed in her movement. Her hands were especially beautiful. Melita’s daughter Lilia Zelinskaia soon became Coco Chanel’s model as well. The whole fashion society of Paris spoke about her magical beauty. She participated in several Coco Chanel’s shows, but after Coco moved to Switzerland, she had to find work with other model agencies.

My aunt became a model because it was the only source of income for her. She left the platform after marrying for the second time, since Rafalovich didn’t want her to be a model and created very good living conditions for her.

She visited Tbilisi twice. At first in 1958, by that time I was graduating from university and my aunt was 63 years old. Even at this age, Melita was so attractive that everybody stared when she walked down the street. Her daughter Lilia visited us as well, in 1961. My aunt died at the age of 93 and Lilia at the age of 82.

Melita Cholokashvili
geotv.ge

Melita’s daughter Lilia Zelinskaya
geotv.ge

Print
Other Stories
The Fourth Official Ceremony of the Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards
On December 3, 2018 Rustaveli Theatre will host the most remarkable event of the Tourism and Hospitality industry of Georgia
Mtatsminda Panthenon – a necropolis of great Georgians
Mtatsminda Pantheon is a necropolis in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The portrait of the Georgian King Teimuraz II returns to Homeland
The portrait of the King Teimuraz II belongs to the collection of Bagrationi Dynasty
Georgian song Suliko performed at the Frankfurt Buchmesse 2018
Georgia was granted an incredible title this year.
Representatives of Georgian wine companies assess Georgian Wine Festival 2018
Georgian Wine Festival 2018 gives unique possibility to around 50 companies to present their wine to hundreds of Georgians and tourists.
Representatives of the government attend Georgian Wine Festival 2018
“Georgian Wine Festival 2018 is a celebration of a successful Rtveli (vintage)” – says minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia Levan Davitashvili.
Tourists speak about Georgian wine at the Georgian Wine Festival 2018
Georgian Wine Festival 2018 has been going on for several hours already on the Shardeni Street in Tbilisi.
Georgian Wine Festival 2018 kicks off on the 13th of October
Actors from the Motion theatre, drummers, fire show, Georgian folklore and the most important – Georgian wine – this is a short list of activities available at the Georgian Wine Festival
Khatia Buniatishvili opens the Frankfurt Book Fair
On the 9th of October, The Frankfurt Book Fair officially commenced.
Palitra L to be presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair
This year Georgia has an incredible opportunity to introduce its culture, history and cuisine to the world.
Tbilisoba 2018 in photos
Tbilisoba is an annual festival held on the last weekend of October but this year it takes place on the first weekend of October.
Schedule for the Tbilisoba 2018
Tbilisoba 2018 will start today, on the 6th of October and last until the 7th of October.
Tbilisoba 2018 to be celebrated in Moscow
Tbilisoba is an annual festival held on the last weekend of October but this year it takes place on the first weekend of October.
Georgian alphabet in the metro of Frankfurt
Frankfurt U-Bahn has been decorated with the posters of Georgian alphabet.
A crucial year for fighting climate change: The EU steps up international cooperation on Paris Agreement implementation
The scale of the climate challenges we face today and in the future is clear.
Extraordinary photography – Gigo Gabashvili
Gigo Gabashvili was a Georgian painter and photographer (1862-1936).
Georgian dance Davluri
There are different varieties of the Georgian dance.
Georgia as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair
The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s biggest book fair.
Katie Melua Performs in Georgia on her own birthday
On the 16th of September, Georgia hosted the Georgian born British singer Katie Melua in European Square, Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.
Khatia Buniatishvili performs in Georgia
On the 15th of September, Khatia Buniatishvili performed with the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Vakhtang Kakhidze at the Djansug Kakhidze Tbilisi Center for Music & Culture
Georgian pianist Nicolas Namoradze wins Honens 2018
The Georgian pianist Nicolas Namoradze has become a Honens Prize Laureate. The Honens Piano Competition takes place every three years.
Katie Melua to give a concert in Georgia
Katie Melua, the Georgian-British singer and songwriter, will perform in Georgia. The concert will take place at 21:0 in Europe square on 16th of September, Tbilisi.
Mikhail Baryshnikov to perform in Georgia
The Latvian born Russian / American ballet dancer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov has arrived in Georgia.
A dance with daggers performed by the Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet
The Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet perform the dance called Khanjluri, or a dance with daggers.
Sno – Georgian dance performed by the Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet
Previously we have published the Georgian dance – very traditional and one of the oldest in the history of Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
16.11.2018
17.11.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6818
2.6727
EUR
1
EUR
3.0299
3.0268
GBP
1
GBP
3.4332
3.4240
RUB
100
RUB
4.0185
4.0447
Other Stories
The success story of Georgian musicians goes beyond the country’s borders.
Gelati Monastery, a medieval monastic complex near Kutaisi, in the Imereti region of western Georgia,
Famous Italian duo Tale Of Us comprising of two Italian artists Carmine Conte and Matteo Milleri will perform in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Georgian Prima Balerina Nino Ananiashvili will perform the main part in Romeo and Juliet
Promising Georgian actor Irakli Kvirikadze has been featured in a trailer
National Georgian Ballet Sukhishvili (also known as Sukhishvilebi) have recently presented their new program
The European Film Promotion (EFP) presented the 10 best emerging actors from Europe
It is an ancient tradition in Georgia, yet very alive.
My Georgian Reality is the illustration series inspired by everyday life.
Many distinguished persons such as Alexandre Dumas, Knut Hamsun traveled to Tbilisi and were captivated by its diversity and beauty.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6727
EUR
1
EUR
3.0268
GBP
1
GBP
3.4240
RUB
100
RUB
4.0447
November 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30