CHANEL’s No.5 adverts are always about fashion, fantasy and of course the allure of fragrance, but for the latest iteration by Baz Luhrmann, the story is underpinned by a focus on today’s real women.
Though the film’s star, Gisele Bündchen, has a far from standard lifestyle herself, Luhrmann says that the supermodel’s own set of responsibilities represent the balancing act we all undergo on a day-to-day basis.
“I worked on the No.5 ad with Nicole Kidman 11 years ago, so when Chanel approached me about doing it again I thought: ‘What is the difference between the Chanel woman then and now?'” the director told us at a press conference for the campaign on Monday in New York. “In a way Gisele became the script. I knew her when she was quite young and starting out, and she’s evolved so much in both her life and work. The film reflects that – this woman has a child, a real job and then she has this relationship. Gisele is the Chanel woman now.”
Luhrmann’s story sees Bündchen’s character struggling to balance her personal life, her work, her role as a mother and her relationship, set to a slow, sexy version of the Grease classic The One That I Want, reimagined by musician Lo-Fang. The director’s attention to detail is as apparent as ever – even the child cast as Bündchen’s daughter sets off for school with one of Chanel’s sell-out spring/summer 2014 rucksacks – and Bündchen plays her role sensitively and, of course, beautifully.
“Gisele has a can-do attitude and an incredible positive energy. I would have dialled up or dialled down the amount of acting required in the ad depending upon what she brought and what she could do – and as you can see I’ve dialled it up,” he revealed. “Obviously she’s a mother but that isn’t her daughter in the film, yet you really believe the relationship she creates with that child. The Chanel team immediately embraced the idea of the child in the story – fragrance ads are so often about something unattainable, but this grounds it.”
Of course at the heart of the idea of the Chanel woman is one woman in particular – Coco Chanel herself, who launched Chanel No.5 almost a century ago.
“It’s the spirit of Coco Chanel that has continued to influence the house. She’s about paradoxes in character – one minute she’s be in trousers on the beach, the next she’d be in a beautiful frock,” Luhrmann said. “That’s what I love most about Chanel – it comes from an actual person and the things that she felt and that were real to her. She really changed fashion.”
Via British Vogue