In addition to be subject of his directorial debut, "Paris-Moscou" was chosen by Karl Lagerfeld as the theme for his semiannual collection designed to show off the skills of the French embroiderers, milliners, goldsmiths, and shoemakers Chanel's house owns.
In Théâtre le Ranelagh, the fashion show opened with a silent black-and-white cine-skit on Coco's flirtation with Russian-Parisian émigré society in the 1910's and 1920's.
“Today, people are ready for silent movies again, as they spend time — hours, I would say — looking at text messages and e-mails, I always loved silent movies” Karl Lagerfeld.
According to various sources, the designer gathered some familiar members of his entourage, including model Brad Koenig and his bodyguard/private secretary Sébastien Jondeau (mustachioed and surly as a Russian nightclub owner), for the cast, along with model Edita Vilkeviciute, her gamine allure, jutting chin and ramrod posture creating a beguiling portrayal of the young Coco from 1913, when the legendary designer first set up shop. As reported in WWD Nov. 17, Tallulah Ormsby-Gore plays a Chanel model who has to sell her real-life mother, Lady Amanda Harlech, a hat in the film. Even the workers in the Chanel atelier got to play parts as workers in the fashion house. “I cannot take extras,” Lagerfeld notes. “They don’t know how to touch the clothes.”
The second part of the film takes place in 1923, when Chanel was already established, and is interspersed with newsreel images from the First World War. The plot, conveyed with title cards, involves an amusing cast of characters, many tied to Russia, including Chanel’s lover the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, from whom she borrowed the pea jacket and pelisse, giving them a feminine touch. “It’s a funny movie, unpretentious”, says Lagerfeld. “Chanel was a charming woman, at liberty to seduce men. Everybody this year has decided to make a movie about Chanel, and you know their historical worth is not always too exact.”
“I had every image in my head” the designer says, as for the collection, he says it will be “constructed,” incorporating elements of imperial Russia and Russian folklore. As you can observe in the images below.
p.s. I wonder if those golden tights would work for New Year's Eve celebration...