Case Studies: Movies


  1. Cafe Society by Woody Allen (2016)
  2. Coco before Chanel by Anne Fontaine (2009)
  3. The Great Gatsby by Baz Luhrmann (2013)



Cafe Society by Woody Allen (2016)

Costume designer Suzy Benzinger worked exclusively with Chanel to create custom looks for Kristen Stewart — a face of the brand who plays a 1930s secretary — and a slew of glittering retro-style diamonds for Blake Lively, who portrays a Manhattan socialite.

Benzinger, a seven-time Allen alum (who could not be reached for comment about the controversy at press time), pored over Chanel archives to find pieces for Stewart. “In the 20th century, Chanel was the epitome of style, luxury and glamour,” says Benzinger, who chose two period dresses in cream and pink-peach to be re-created by the luxury brand’s Paris studio. “The job was easy: Put an elegant, simple dress on an actress, accessorize with a brooch or earrings — instant glamour! That’s the genius of Coco Chanel.”

Coco before Chanel by Anne Fontaine (2009)
A century ago, a 30-something up-and-comer with a hat shop on the Rue Cambon, a seasonal pop-up in Deauville, a budding business in Biarritz, and a way with jersey was mulling opening a couture house in Paris. That materialized a year later, in 1918, and the rest is history.

With its new Coco Before Chanel high jewelry collection, the Place Vendôme powerhouse pays tribute to Gabrielle Chanel’s early days, before the famous friends and furious socializing. The designer’s first signatures—a no-fuss obsession with ribbons, lace, camellias, and pearls; the innocent allure of soft pink and gray—come together in 49 haute joaillerie pieces named after the first friends to wear Chanel’s fashions.


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