Circa 1954 in Paris, a most precarious moment for Gabrielle Chanel as she presented her post-war collection at the age of 71—a collection that was ill-received by the French press. This moment in time is the beginning of Karl’s storytelling that will unfold in a 30-minute Technicolor movie titled The Return, to be presented just prior to his Paris-Dallas Métiers d’Art show on December 10 at Dallas Fair Park.

Geraldine Chaplin Portrays Gabrielle Chanel

Geraldine Chaplin Portrays Gabrielle Chanel. Photo by Olivier Sailant

Coco pictured on the staircase at Rue Cambon studio

Coco pictured on the staircase at the Rue Cambon studio.

The scene—a recreated set of the studio on Rue Cambon with its famous mirrored staircase, features the cast, Geraldine Chaplin as Gabrielle, Rupert Everett as an American TV journalist, Lady Amanda Harlech who portrays American Vogue Editor Bettina Ballard, model Heidi Mount plays Marlene Dietrich, and Brit Hairstylist Sam McKnight as François, Coco’s butler—the target of her flirtatious advances.

Geraldine Chaplin and cast in Fifties attire

Geraldine Chaplin and the cast in Fifties attire. Photo by Olivier Sailant


A Scene from The Return, with Karl Lagerfeld directing in the background

A Scene from The Return, with Karl Lagerfeld directing. Photo by Olivier Sailant

Shunned by the French press, the story depicts the support and admiration that flowed from America, most notably Vogue magazine and Neiman Marcus. “It’s America who rediscovered her, so this is a thank you,” Lagerfeld said from his director’s chair. “Without America, she would have closed the entire operation.”

Produced and directed by Karl, the mini-movie also includes his top seamstresses adding authentic realism to the painstaking reflection of a moment in Coco’s career when self-doubt and insecurity was triumphed by an American audience.

Lets hope that the classy 50s inspired storytelling continues for the Paris-Dallas Métiers d’Art show, sans cowboy boots, and any other stereotypical big-haired Texas malady. S’il vous plaît! #chaneldallas