Sofia Coppola is no stranger to 31 Rue Cambon, Chanel’s storied Parisian headquarters. Her relationship with the French fashion house officially kicked off during a summer internship when she was just a teenager. “I was in the design studio, so I got to see Karl Lagerfeld doing haute couture sketches for the final shows,” she once recalled of her rarefied fashion forward apprenticeship. “I was getting coffee and doing intern stuff, but just to be around him was amazing.” Since then, she’s been a regular on the front rows of the annual Métiers d’Art collections, pieces of which have made countless cameos in her films, from The Bling Ring, On The Rocks, and the 1989 short Life Without Zoe, which she co-wrote with her father, Francis Ford Coppola, at the age of 17, to her most recent cinematic project, a video celebrating the savoir-faire behind Chanel’s iconic 11.12 bag.
Shot in the Ateliers de Verneuil-en-Halatte workshop, the birthplace of Chanel’s handbags since 1990, the minute-long movie grants viewers behind-the-scenes access to the making of the 11.12, which was created by Lagerfeld, in a reinterpretation of Coco Chanel‘s classic 2.55, when he joined as creative director in the early 1980s. (This season, Virginie Viard gives the treasured style—which, over the years, has been spotted on everyone from Princess Diana to Beyoncé—a thoroughly 21st century twist by way of jersey, tweed, silk, velvet, and denim iterations.) Watch as the lambskin leather is carefully chosen, a point droit de couturière quilts each piece with a diamond pattern, and the adjustable metal chain is braided by hand with a leather ribbon—all to the tune of Yazoo’s 1982 synth-pop single “Situation”. As for the finishing touch? The double C turn-style lock—the signature seal of the timeless handbag—is affixed into place. With that, the 11.12 is ready for the cobblestoned streets of Paris—and beyond.
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