Chanel and ‘Spencer’: A Royal Affair

Chanel in Spencer

Courtesy of Chanel


The House of Chanel has long been associated with the world of cinema, whether it’s for the red carpet or on-screen wardrobe. Gabrielle Chanel’s foray into the American film industry began in 1930 when she met Samuel Goldwyn, the owner of the MGM studios, who asked her to transform his stars into fashion icons. After a brief stint, which included meeting and befriending the likes of Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Gloria Swanson and other stars, her experience in Los Angeles was cut short as the studios were inappreciative of Chanel’s understated and refined allure.


However, French cinema embraced the Maison with arms wide open. Chanel’s modernity and timelessness birthed countless iconic relationships such as the one with a young Romy Schneider who was quoted saying, “When I put on my first ‘Chanel’, I realised I would never want anything else…(…) Chanel is a couturier like no other… Because it is a coherent, logical ‘organised’ whole: in the way we say the Doric order or the Corinthian order, there is a ‘Chanel order’, with its reasons, its rules, its rigour. It is an elegance that satisfies the mind even more than the eyes.”  


“When I put on my first ‘Chanel’, I realised I would never want anything else…” – Romy Schneider


Other notable collaborations include Pedro Almodóvar’s High Heels (1992) in which Victoria Abril wears a Chanel suit from start to finish, and Callas Forever by Franco Zeffirelli (2002).  In 2016, several outfits were created especially for Kristen Stewart and Blake Lively in Café Society. In 2018, a suit from the Métiers d’art 2016/17 Paris Cosmopolite collection was made for Isabelle Huppert in the film Greta. In Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), Chanel naturally found its place with the ambassador of the House, Margot Robbie.



This year, Chanel announces another special partnership in the world of cinema with ‘Spencer’ by Pablo Larraín – the story of an icon, Princess Diana, played by  Kristen Stewart. She wears both clothes and jewels by Chanel, and in particular, a beige organza evening gown embellished with gold and silver round, oval or leaf-shaped sequins forming floral branches, look 82, from the Spring-Summer 1988 Haute Couture collection.


Chanel in Spencer

Chanel Beige Organza Evening Gown, Spring Summer 1988 Collection Look 82


In order to capture the essence of Pablo Larraín’s film as closely as possible, the House worked hand in hand with multi-award-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran, who shares more about the collaboration here.

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In conversation with costume designer Jacqueline Durran

What was the starting point of your collaboration with Pablo Larrain and how did it go through the whole project?


“Pablo and I met in London and I brought boards of pictures of Diana that I had selected from the period 1988-92 – I tried to show the different styles and colours that she was using in that period so I could get an idea of what Pablo was looking for in his interpretation – I used his feedback from that meeting as the starting point for the clothes that I prepared for the first fitting with Kristen.”

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