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Chanel's Silent Film: Karl Keeps It Classy, Boring

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[Brad Koenig bores Coco; still via Chanel]

Now aren't we living in historic times—the silent film which marks Karl Lagerfeld's directorial debut premiered on the Chanel website today and we judge it to be true to Karl's style: black & white, refined and dry. Because Paris is seven hours ahead of us, those cursed with both insomnia and Chanel fever probably already overdosed on the film last night, but for everyone else, here is our mini-review of Karl's mini-movie:


[Boy Capel hovers; still via Chanel]

For the first half, Coco herself (as played by model Edita Vilkeviciute) reclines and smokes in her Paris atelier of 1913 while rich women customers try on hats. Not once does Coco ever stand up, even after a messenger boy arrives and drops a stack of Chanel hatboxes, to which Coco yells "imbecile!"

We finally see some action when Coco's lover Boy Capel enters and they briefly suck face while chatting about attending the Ballet Russes. Everyone looks grave and there is no chemistry between Coco and Boy. The Russian Revolution then forms the entr'acte of the film, presented in brief flashes of trench fighting and portraits of the Romanov family and Lenin.

Ten years pass and model Brad Koenig enters the scene as the Grand Duke Dimitri, wearing not nearly enough makeup to pass him off as a silent film actor. He takes Coco out for a night on the town, which basically involves more sitting and smoking, but this time in a nightclub.

Coco babbles about various things and is occasionally mesmerized (in kaleidoscopic fashion) by the image of a Russian Prince Youssopov. She declares her love for Russian opulence and names her next collection "Paris Moscow," which, 85 years later, is exactly what Karl is calling his current Chanel season.

While it is obvious that great pains were taken to ensure that the look of the film was true to the era, the plot was lacking and the Chanel outfits played second fiddle to Coco's constant smirking. For a more entertaining short film, we absolutely suggest Karl's commercial for his H&M Collection, also shot in black & white and with a crazy cast of characters.

Our rating for "Chanel 1913" by Karl Lagerfeld: 2.5 out of 5 quilted leather bags.