Keira Knightley to Play Coco Chanel

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In celebration of the 100th anniversary of one of the biggest and most notable fashion houses in the world, Chanel, a film documenting the life Coco Chanel will be produced. Keira Knightley will be playing Chanel’s matriarch Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel. The film will be directed by Karl Lagerfeld. Lagerfeld is the head designer of Chanel among many other prominent fashion houses. He is also an artist, photographer and he has also acted in a few films. The film will be released at the Chanel Cruise Show in Singapore in early May later this year.

Keira Knightley and Karl Lagerfeld. Photo by: Gamma 40

Keira Knightley and Karl Lagerfeld. Photo by: Gamma 40

Lagerfeld, the director, is a German fashion designer, artist and photographer. Not only the creative director of Chanel he also heads Fendi a brand he joined in 1967 and his own label, Karl Lagerfeld launched in 1984 and sold to Tommy Hilfiger. Despite the sale he maintained the head creative director position. He once designed an H&M range for Chloe, as well as being head creative director for the fashion house in the 70s. He joined Chanel, for the first time, as head creative director-the position he still holds today- in 1993.

The film will be mostly based and filmed in Deauville, a seaside town in the North of France. The small town is home to the first Chanel boutique, opened in 1913 and financed by Coco’s lover Captain Arthur “Boy” Capel, a wealthy British aristocrat. Deauville’s former quaint beauty will be recreated through retro sets, Lagerfeld says. The town is also the town where Coco used to send her sister Antoinette and aunt Adrienne out in the streets to show off her designers and attract customers before she was famous.

Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel is known as one of the most important women in fashion even today, 42 years after her death. Born in 1883, the fashion mogul, recreated her childhood, to hide from the public, the poverty she went through in the early years of her life. She also changed her birth date so that when she died she was 78 and not 88. The building that houses Coco Chanel’s apartment (although she lived at The Ritz Hotel in Paris for almost 30 years) was bought by Chanel in 1920. The building still has the ground floor shop, haute couture workrooms in the attic where 100 seamstresses still sew by hand. The building also includes Miss Chanel’s former study, now Lagerfeld’s. Chanel, the fashion house has the best-selling fragrance for women in the world, Chanel No.5.

The upcoming film will not be the first to be made about the mother of the modern woman’s fashion. Other films include the 2009 film, Coco Before Chanel, starring Audrey Tautou as Coco Chanel. The film was directed by Anne Fontaine.

Keira Knightley as the Face of Coco Mademoiselle

Keira Knightley as the Face of Coco Mademoiselle

Keira Knightley, the British actress playing the role of the famed fashion designer is also the face of Coco Mademoiselle, a Chanel fragrance. She replaced Kate Moss in 2007. Lagerfeld handpicked her himself and has said on numerous occasions that the 27-year-old is his muse. He is currently working on Knightley’s dress for her upcoming marriage to James Righton a British musician. The 27 year old’s most notable works include the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Pride and Prejudice (for which she received an Oscar nomination) and the recent film Anna Karenina based on a novel (of the same name) by Russian author Leo Tolstoy published in 1877.


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