Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The L in Lagerfeld is for Lovemarks



You have to hand it to Chanel. One minute they’re dropping a spectacular exhibition experience onto Central Park in New York, and the next they’re making a gesture that is so delicately infused with memory that it is instant Lovemarks. I’m talking about the short film that Chanel’s resident Lovemark, Karl Lagerfeld, has created. Talk about zigging when others zag.

In this age of digital experimentation and one-upmanship, Lagerfeld has shot his film like an old fashioned silent movie. To me, as a long-time advocate of sisomo, I loved being taken back to the infancy of the powerful combination of sight, sound, and motion on screen. No dialogue but a soundtrack as evocative of Coco Chanel as her whispering in your ear, “One can never be too modern”. Lagerfeld understands the spirit of Coco Chanel intimately and captures it wonderfully in his 10 minute film about Chanel’s life and times. Gabrielle, the great lady of fashion, is played by Lithuanian supermodel Edita Vilkeviciute who eerily inspires the heritage of Chanel with its possible future. As a personality, Coco Chanel resonates wonderfully with women today. She didn’t marry into money or status, and she didn’t inherit it either. She created it for herself. She got out there and changed her world. Lagerfeld responds to this energy in his film and casts it with fashionistas who bring their own independence and attitude. He knew that regular film extras would not convey the understanding of material time and place that is at the heart of the movie. Intimate storytelling, bringing the past and present together in a surprising and sensual way.

Does Karl Lagerfeld get Lovemarks? Gotta believe it. Did Coco Chanel? She didn’t just get it, she was it. And still is.