16 October 2014

The Evolutionary Journey of The Chanel Woman

I watched Chanel's new No. 5 advertisement yesterday afternoon and it's been on my mind ever since. It's difficult to believe that Baz Lurhmann's last Chanel No.5 ad, featuring Nicole Kidman was shot 11 years ago. Luhrmann aimed to develop the Chanel woman and modify her in his newest endeavour with the French fashion house: "The big thing for us is, how is the Chanel woman that we focused on 10 years ago, how is she different now 10 years later?" Gisele's character epitomises the modern woman: beautiful house, a child and a high profile career to juggle with her marriage, Game of Thrones actor Michiel Huisman playing the husband. Luhrmann feels that the Chanel woman is versatile enough to be surfing on the beach one moment, playing with her children the next, even dominating a successful career which challenges her. Most importantly he feels, is love. A true relationship and romance add to the alluring nature of the Chanel woman and makes it something to aspire to.

Grease's "The One That I Want" gets a delicate and somewhat angelic remix from Lo Fang and is the only sound in the narration-less film. It's completely in the nature of Chanel to take something classic, something you think you know, and turn it into something else. This creates that sense of familiarity - Karl Lagerfeld achieves this through his designs and Baz Luhrmann has achieved this through the graceful manipulation of an anthem.

Luhrmann successfully links together the beliefs of Chanel with the film by portraying women as strong and powerful beings, as demonstrated also in the feminist rally in their Paris Fashion Week show earlier this month. The choice of Gisele to embody the character, the intimacy of the music and the progression of the Chanel woman since the first film, helps to develop your understanding of the characters as well as the story that's being told.