Costumes Designed by Coco Chanel Are Hitting the Screen at TIFF This Summer



When one thinks of Coco Chanel, the first thing that comes to mind is likely a string of pearls, or a “little black dress.” But in addition to being one of the most influential fashion designers of the 20thcentury, she was also an accomplished costume designer. Chanel designed loose-fitting costumes for the Ballet Russes and the flapper-inspired costumes for Alain Resnais’ 1961 film Last Year at Marienbad, which is playing at the TIFF Bell Lightbox later this summer.


Last Year at Marienbad tells the story of a man trying to convince a woman of a previous relationship they shared; an affair that the woman doesn’t seem to remember. Its mysterious narrative disrupts the traditional cinematic chronological constraints to make way for an avant-garde blend between reality and fiction. It is considered one of the most important works to emerge from the French New Wave movement and was awarded the Golden Lion — the highest honour a film can receive — at the Venice Film Festival in 1961.


Chanel’s timeless elegance meshed perfectly with the mood of the film and the costumes play a substantial role in the movie, dropping hints about the story’s chronology.  The black chiffon dress worn by Delphine Seyrig even became known as the “dress à la Marienbad.”


Last year, Chanel supported a restoration of the film, which premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival.


Toronto-based cinephiles can rejoice because the film will be playing as part of a summer-long Alain Resnais retrospective at TIFF.  Last Night at Marienbad has two screenings as part of Time After Time: The Films of Alain Resnais, on July 27th and August 11th. Click here for more details.






 



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