Watch + Listen: Chanel + Sofia Coppola + Siouxsie Sioux For Fall-Winter 2021/22 Haute Couture Collection Films

Image by Mikael Jansson

There’s a moment during the ballroom scene in Sofia Coppola’s 2006 cinematic masterpiece Marie Antoinette, when the Siouxsie & the Banshees track ‘Hong Kong Garden’ kicks in, and the waltzing assembled simply react to the provocative punk classic by not missing a beat. It spoke to the exalted director’s gift for creating unexpected little instances of postmodern fantasticalism that set her apart from anyone else working in film today.

Chanel, of course, has a storied history of aligning with such ineffable talents. And for Fall-Winter 2021/22 Haute Couture they inspired Ms. Coppola to revisit her creative fraternity with the awesome gothic goddess, for a pair of short clips that act as a complement to the 12-minute film of the collection presentation in Paris. The French fashion house has traditionally used the Grand Palais as a couture show backdrop, but this year moved the production over to the Palais Galliera, where there is currently an exhibition covering the history of founder Coco Chanel.

One of Coppola’s clips shows actress Margaret Qualley – who had the prestigious honor of being this season’s chosen Couture Bride – going behind the scenes and meeting the highly skilled seamstresses at the Chanel Atelier at 31 Rue Cambon (Roman Coppola assisted in the direction), all to the ethereal strains of the Banshees’ ‘Belladonna’. A second clip finds Ms. Qualley (daughter of Andie MacDowell) in and around the Galliera, decked in Chanel and just being all manner of lovely – if her eyes don’t melt your heart, her shy smile certainly will – while Siouxsie Sioux hauntingly howls out the immortal lyrics to ‘Dazzle.’

“The stars that shine
And the stars that shrink
In the face of stagnation the water runs
Before your eyes
Dazzle, it’s a glittering prize
Dazzle, it’s a glittering prize”

The absolutely gorgeous collection, as it turns out, was inspired by some old photos of Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel as she was having a particularly impressionistic fashion moment.

“It was when I rediscovered these portraits of her dressed up in black or white 1880s-style dresses,” recalls Creative Director Virginie Viard, “that I immediately thought about tableaux. Works by Berthe Morisot, Marie Laurencin and Édouard Manet. There are impressionist-inspired dresses, skirts that look like paintings and a long white satin dress punctuated with black bows like Morisot’s. I really wanted a colorful collection that was very embroidered, something warm.”

Curiously enough, so did we.

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