Karl Lagerfeld's Latest Chanel Film: A 30-Minute Thank You to Neiman Marcus

Fashion films are getting longer and more elaborate.
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Fashion films are getting longer and more elaborate.
Olivier Saillant/WWD

Olivier Saillant/WWD

Fashion films are getting longer and more elaborate.

They seem to have evolved from short, cutesy clips of pretty people traipsing around in pretty clothes, to lengthy, dramatic, involved movies that actually tell stories.

The latter is the case with Karl Lagerfeld's latest directorial effort, meant to accompany Chanel's next Métiers d’Art, which will debut in, of all places, Dallas next month.

Conveniently, the film will tell the story of why Dallas is so important to Chanel. The 30-minute "big budget costume drama" as WWD describes it, sees Coco Chanel, played by Geraldine Chaplin, unveiling her 1954 comeback collection in a replica of her Rue Cambon studio, which winds up being panned by most -- except for Dallas-based Neiman Marcus. “It’s America who rediscovered [Chanel], so this is a thank you,” Lagerfeld told the trade. “Without America, she would have closed the entire operation.”

The cast also includes Rupert Everett as an American TV journalist, Heidi Mount as Marlene Deitrich and Amanda Harlech as American Vogue fashion editor Bettina Ballard.

If you're wondering how Lagerfeld, who has many other gigs, had time to write and direct an entire 30-minute film with such a huge cast, it's because he saved time by not actually writing a script, and instead just told the actors what to say right before it was time to say it. And we all know how amazing things can come out of Lagerfeld's mouth unplanned, so this film is sure to have some excellent dialogue.

Oh, and it sounds like Lagerfeld's films could become even longer after this one: he told WWD that he wouldn't rule out a feature-length one day. Could an Oscar be in Lagerfeld's future?