L IGHTS , C AMER A , BELLISSIMA! French film noir meets Italian la dolce vita for Chanel’s latest Pre-Fall fashion collection. Natasha Kraal attends the premiere night in Rome.
It was the era of dramatically changing times, particularly social and cultural mores, which director Luchino Visconti captured in the 1962 satirical anthology Boccaccio ’ 70, starring Romy Schneider. In an episode, “Il Lavoro”, an aristocratic couple attempt to revive their marriage after the husband made headlines for visiting prostitutes; Schneider plays the wife seeking her independence by finding work. The Chanel suits, slingbacks, and stacks of pearls she wears are symbolic; as much as the final scene, where at her dressing table she turns to him in her negligee, and utters “Chanel” as a bottle of N˚5 stands as the backdrop. With that, the woman found her worth. Reel to real life, the stories connect. “There are three people who transformed my life,” once said the Austrian-born French actress. “Alain [Delon, her first husband], Visconti, and Coco Chanel.” Schneider was once casted as muse to Coco Chanel, who helped her evolve into an elegant Parisienne, echoing her desires when she first step foot in Paris as an ingénue in the ’50s: “I want to be completely French in the way I live, love, sleep, and dress.”
Often taking his creative cues from Coco Chanel, whose maison he advanced in the last 32 years almost biographically from her private life and feminist fashion, Karl Lagerfeld extracts these vignettes as framework for every Chanel collection he creates. Chanel’s ‘Paris in Rome’ 2015/16 Métiers d’Art collection is inspired by French actresses of the ’50s and ’60s who starred in Italian films, and dressed by Coco Chanel: Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Anouk Aimée, and Delphine Seyrig. They were muses—style influencers, in now-speak—to Coco Chanel, who flourished on her involvement with dance, theatre, and film, forging friendships with Italian directors Franco Zeffirelli and Luchino Visconti—rumoured to be a lover. The world of arts elevated Chanel’s status, and Italian cinema was where her fashion could capture a wider audience while imbuing it with her French chic.
French chic and Italian glamour at Chanel’s ‘Paris in Rome’ 2015/16 Métiers d’Art show
Tiers of pastel lace and appliqué florals by Maison Lemarié Coco Chanel fits Romy Schneider at the Rue Cambon studio in the ’60s
Teatro N 5 turned into a film noir set of Paris at dawn