Chanel On The Stage

The American Cinema Festival opens its doors on Friday in Deauville for a 46th edition chaired by Vanessa Paradis. She is the face of Chanel, partner of the event and whose history is intimately linked to the cinema.

By Chloé Redler
Actress, singer and model, Vanessa Paradis is the jury president of the Deauville Festival 46th edition – Photo: Chanel

For the second year running, Chanel is partnering with the Deauville American Film Festival, whose 46th edition will be held from the 4thto 13th of September 2020. President of the jury, Vanessa Paradis is also one of the great brand ambassador of the French luxury brand. The opportunity to turn the spotlight on the special relationship that has united for decades the Norman city and the Seventh Art to the Haute Couture house.

Discover the teaser of the Deauville American Film Festival 46th edition.

Profoundly impacted by the health measures taken against the pandemic, the cinema sector begins to color again with the timid but gradual return of spectators to these dark rooms and the non-cancellation of festivals. After the Angouleme festival at the end of August, where Prime Minister Jean Castex announced an aid of 165 million Euros to support French cinema, the Deauville American Film Festival is now opening its doors from the 4th to the 13 th of September.

Jeanne Moreau in a Chanel suit in Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Roger Vadim (1960) – © Sunset Boulevard Corbis

From Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld to Virginia Viand, current artistic director of the Madison and former costume designer at the cinema, Chanel has never ceased to attract the limelight thanks to stupendous collaborations with international actresses.

From actresses to brand ambassadors

It all began in 1931, when Gabrielle Chanel flew to Hollywood at the behest of producer Samuel Goldwyn. His goal: to make his actresses fashion icons on the screen. Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Gloria Swanson and Katharine Hepburn go through the expert and magical hands of the “couturière”. However, Coco Chanel’s designs were deemed a bit too minimalist for the glitzy American cinema of the time. Gabrielle therefore returned to France, where the French directors welcomed her with open arms. Jean Renoir, Marcel Carné and later Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Louis Malle or even Alain Resnais know how to sublimate the simple and natural outfits of Madame Chanel perfect for their favourite young actresses, Jeanne Moreau and Romy Schneider in the foreground .

Romy Schneider under the skillful eye of Gabrielle Chanel in 1961. Photo: Chanel

In 1983, Karl Lagerfeld created sensation when he took over the helm of the ready-to-wear, accessories and Haute Couture collections. A true cinephile, this atypical creator strives to collaborate with many filmmakers such as Pedro Almodovar, Ridley Scott and Martin Scorsese – the latter would even be associated with the advertising campaigns for the brand’s perfumes – and to dress great actresses both on the screen and on the festival red carpet (Kristen Stewart, Penélope Cruz, Margot Robbie and Marion Cotillard).

International celebrity, American actress and director Kristen Stewart is a fan of the legendary tailor of the house. Photo: Chanel

In December 2019, Virginie Viard called upon director Sofia Coppola (Marie-Antoinette, 2006) to design the décor for her first “Métiers d’Art” runway. This is how the nave of the Grand Palais in Paris hosted a reconstruction of Coco Chanel’s apartment, of the Haute Couture salons and of the famous 31 rue Cambon mirrored staircase. The show was awe-inspiring and had nothing to envy to the most beautiful sets of the big screen.

Coco Chanel in front of her Deauville boutique in 1913. Photo: Chanel

With this event, Chanel reaffirms its attachment to cinema and beyond that, to Deauville itself. A popular holiday resort of la Belle Epoque and a town of exile for high society during the war, Deauville is inseparable from Gabrielle, who in 1912 opened a hat shop on the Gontaut-Biron street. A story immortalized a century later in a short film by Karl Lagerfeld (Once upon a time, 2013), reconstructing this age, with British actress and ambassador Keira Knightley as young Coco.

To be noted that ten films from the official selection of Cannes 2020, cancelled due to the coronavirus, will be screened during the Deauville festival.

All about the 46th edition:

Discover the films in competition for this 46th edition of the Deauville American Film Festival.