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How fashion can shape a film

Dhe French have Chanel. And of course Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Celine, Chloé. But let’s stay with Chanel, because Chanel is set to hit the screens this fall, at least in French cinemas. It is neither about the film adaptation of the life of Coco Chanel nor about the work of Karl Lagerfeld (the film will follow next year, starring Jared Leto). “Simone, le voyage du siècle”, on the other hand, is now dedicated to Simone Veil, a woman who certainly did not go down in history for fashion but for many other things. As the first woman in various higher political offices. As Minister of Health, she ensured that abortion was legalized in France. That was in 1975.

Advocate for abortion rights and Chanel cliente

Jennifer Wiebking

Editor in the “Life” department of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper.

In all these activities and performances, she wore Chanel again and again. High-necked costumes, often patterned, more armor than props, suited to the urgencies of their concerns. Simone Veil was one too client, as the particularly good customers of traditional Parisian stores are called. That’s why the tight tweed suits in this film, which has been in French cinemas since last week, had to be original Chanel.

In Chanel: Scene from the Simone Veil film


In Chanel: Scene from the Simone Veil film
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Bild: Marvelous Productions

The film about Veil is an example of how fashion in the cinema is being seen from an unusual angle. Neither as a serious report about this or that designer, as they have been running again and again in recent years, nor as an expression of an amusing to hollow way of life, but simply as part of a good story. Incidentally, this fashion tells of a country’s self-image. So France has Chanel.

The world is still talking about the “Sibyl” 33 years after the fall of the Wall

The Chanel of the GDR, if you will, was called Exquisit, the socialist version of a high fashion label, and that too, in the package with the magazine “Sibylle”, was a cultural asset that the world would still remember for 33 years speaks after the fall of the Wall. The film about it, “In a country that no longer exists”, has been running in German cinemas for a few weeks now and takes a different look at the GDR, at its small, critical fashion scene and the parallel machinery in the name of Glamor for socialism.

There are the Baltic Sea pictures, which are reminiscent of the work of Ute and Werner Mahler for the “Sibylle” at the time; both were also now involved in the project. There are the models, who at that time were not only called mannequins in the East. And there is the editor-in-chief of this magazine with the most beautiful editor-in-chief phrases – “Beige? We’re not talking about ‘Brigitte’.” And even nicer: “Beauty is a promise that there is something beyond mediocrity where calm reigns.” That’s finally how it is with this fashion film.

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