Sat. Jan 28th, 2023

The marriage of fashion and film both run deep, and the House of Chanel has been sitting at the center of it since 1930 when Gabrielle Chanel came into contact with the world of cinema. The 79th Venice Film Festival ended on Saturday, and Chanel, through its podcast, have launched episodes called, “Chanel in Venice,” diving into key conversations of women in film.

Academy Award winner Penélope Cruz, who’s known for her roles in Vanilla Sky, Murder on the Orient Express, and Parallel Mothers, for which she was nominated for an Oscar is on one episode. Cruz is a Chanel ambassador and was on the red carpet to present L’immensità, directed by Emanuele Crialese and En los márgenes, by Juan Diego Botto with awards. The Spanish actress opens up in the episode about the power of storytelling in both of these films, while sharing her favorite Venice Film Festival moment.

More on the episodes in a minute. Back to Gabrielle Chanel. The Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich of Russia introduced Chanel to Samuel Goldwyn, the head of MGM Studios, in Monaco. Goldwyn was on a mission to revamp the film industry, one that had been dormant since the Stock Market Crash of 1929. The famed studio head wanted Americans to dream again, and he wanted Chanel to be a part of it. He wanted films start to be made into fashion icons on the screen and off the screen.

“Gabrielle and her friend Misia Sert set off for America in 1931. On her arrival [in LA], she was met by Greta Garbo herself and newspapers ran the headline “Two Queens Meet”. Marlene Dietrich, who would become one of her friends, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, George Cukor, Claudette Colbert and other stars were also keen to meet her. This first trip to the U.S. was a triumph. ‘It is a new chapter in my career that starts today,the designer confided to the Los Angeles Examiner on March 17th 1931. The experience was short lived – the studios didn’t appreciate the understated and refined style that was at odds with the Hollywood vision of glamour – but Gabrielle Chanel had discovered what a movie dress was along with the notion of photogénie, which she would forever integrate into her work as a couturière,” shares the House of Chanel.

American film making rejected her but French cinema embraced Chanel, which began a long road of the House’s journey, ebbing and flowing in cinema. The House went through a few chief designers, ultimately settling with Karl Lagerfeld from 1983-2019. He too understood the power of film celebrity and created friendships with actors from Vanessa Paradis, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, Lily-Rose Depp, and Stéphan Audran; and artists like Andy Warhol.

Another episode features Chanel ambassador Tilda Swinton, who presented Joanna Hogg’s film, The Eternal Daughter, in which she plays a role in. Opening up to actress Carly-Sophia Davies, who also plays in the film, the talent duo unpacks their process for creating their characters, as well as exhibiting Chanel’s presence at the Venice International Film Festival.

And the third episode that was unveiled yesterday includes Alice Diop and Kayije Kagame. Both actresses open up about the beginning of the film Saint Omer, a film that was in the official selection. They also supported the brand by donning Chanel throughout the festival.

“CHANEL has always provided cinema with a just and modern illustration of women, in tune with everyday life and its era. This look, favored by actresses immersing themselves in a role or walking down the red carpet, receiving an award or simply in daily life, is today interpreted by Virginie Viard,” shares the House. Viard is continuing with Chanel and Lagerfeld’s direction in film. Working with the likes of Sofia Coppola, who interned at Chanel, reimagined the construction of 31 rue Cambon (Chanel’s Paris base).

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