Happy Returns for Chanel

Published November 19, 2013

ABOVE: GERALDINE CHAPLIN IN THE RETURN, COURTESY OF OLIVIER SAILLAN.

No one could smoke a cigarette quite like Coco Chanel, as Karl Lagerfeld reminds us in The Return, a short film he wrote, directed, and dreamed up as a follow up to Once Upon a Time. Where the latter explored Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel’s early days as a young couturier in Deauville, The Return drops us into 1954, the year that Chanel reopened her couture house. The trailer introduces an elegant woman who doesn’t hesitate to alter garments by ripping off sections with her bare hands. A coterie of friends wearing the revolutionary woolen suits, two-tone pumps, cardigan-style jackets, and signature strands of pearls, shows how Chanel’s easy confidence translated into her bold, simple transformation of the rigidly structured feminine silhouette.

Though filmed on the outskirts of Paris, Lagerfeld meticulously recreated the historical decor of Chanel’s salon and atelier on rue Cambon, and recruited a high-profile cast of his muses including Rupert Everett, Anna Mouglalis, Lady Amanda Harlech, Arielle Dombasle, Sam McKnight, and Geraldine Chaplin as Chanel herself. The film will premiere in Dallas on December 10, preceding the opening of the Paris-Dallas 2013/14 Métiers d’Art show in Dallas Fair Park. Until then, you can stream the trailer above.