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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Chanel marks 100 years with short film

Alongside a cast of top models, Keira Knightley plays Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel in a short film by creative director Karl Lagerfeld chronicling the opening of the Chanel boutique in 1913.

The year is 1913 and Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel - played by British actress Keira Knightley - and her aunt Adrienne (Clotilde Hesme) have just set up shop in the well-heeled holiday town of Deauville in northern France.

Coco Chanel (Knightley) fits a hat upon hard-to-please society lady played by Amanda Harlech.

At the time, Chanel primarily specialised in minimalist hats, which were a stark contrast to the over-embellished styles that were the current rage.

"She has absolutely no taste," say a pair of local maids who pass by her shop window, clearly shocked by her pared-back design aesthetic.

But slowly and surely, Chanel starts building up a clientele of strong-minded, wealthy women who know exactly what they want. Cue guest appearances from Chanel's favourite people: model Stella Tennant plays noblewoman Lady Jane Grey and has her hats shipped to England; visionary actress Eve Lavallière is brought to life by Tallulah Harlech while her mother Lady Amanda Harlech (Karl Lagerfeld's muse) is a hard-to-please society lady.

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