Keira Knightley to play Chanel in Lagerfeld’s film Once Upon a Time…
Keira Knightley has been cast as the eminent Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in Karl Lagerfeld’s latest short film. Titled ‘Once Upon a Time…’ the black and white film celebrates 100 years since the opening of the first Chanel shop in the luxurious style haven of Deauville, on the French coast. The trailer offers a sneak preview of vintage cars, chipper soundtrack and fabulous fashions that fill the film.
As with many previous Lagerfeld productions, expect a clever story-line and, with plenty of Chanel pearls and jewels, a little poetic (or designer’s) license on the fashions of the day. “Invented reality,” Lagerfeld declared whilst on set with WWD (Women’s Wear Daily). Lagerfeld designed the beautiful yet simple cream pieces worn by Knightley and Clotilde Hesme, whilst the rest of the cast were dressed in historically accurate clothes. Characters in the film include members of the French bourgeoisie, which adds to the atmosphere of the location, alongside fashion forward actress Eve Lavallière, played by Tallulah Harlech, Sébastien Jondeau as a famous boxer of the time, and Clotilde Hesme cast as Chanel’s close friend and Aunt, Adrienne.
Taking the label back to its early stages at the turn of the 20th century, Lagerfeld recreates one of Chanel’s first boutiques on a street in the French seaside town of Deauville inside the Cité du Cinéma studios, just outside Paris. Along with 100 extras, the cast includes models and Chanel favourites Stella Tennant, Jake Davies, Baptiste Giabiconi and Brad Kroenig, who, Lagerfeld noted, didn’t deliver their lines as naturally as Knightley. Initially thinking it would be a silent film, Knightley told WWD: “Karl Lagerfeld stage manages the actors in a truly direct way,” after receiving her lines moments before filming began.
Photos: Olivier Saillant/Chanel
Watch the trailer for Once Upon a Time… here: