Apple TV+ The new lookpremiering on Wednesday, February 14 with its first three episodes, examines the lives of fashion powerhouses Christian Dior (played by Ben Mendelsohn) and Coco Chanel (Juliette Binoche), the peopleas opposed to the ubiquitous brands we all recognize today.
Set in Paris during World War II, the series follows Dior and Chanel as they attempt to advance in fashion during the Nazi occupation. Soon, both creators compromise their morals in order to survive and sustain their brands. “I think [Christian] sails [war] I don’t know what he’s doing,” Mendelsohn told TVLine. “I think he has some principles. I think they’re eroding, anyway.
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Yet Mendelsohn calls the drama a “love letter” to Dior that highlights his anxiety, sensitivity and shyness, but also his quiet tenacity. “One of the surprising things about Christian is that he actually has a fierce ambition, but it goes back a long, long, long way,” Mendelsohn shares.
Although the series confronts the perils of war, it does not pass judgment on its characters. Instead, it aims to examine the gray areas of global conflicts and show how war forces people to make unthinkable decisions without a roadmap.
The series also lifts the veil on Coco Chanel’s Nazi links, which today are often minimized, if not completely forgotten. Before the war, Chanel was the “queen of fashion,” says Binoche.
“She understood very early on that being a businesswoman was going to give her freedom, independence, and that was the most important thing,” says Binoche, “because she knew she couldn’t rely on a man.
But when the series resumed in 1943, it may have been Chanel’s “fierce need for independence,” as Binoche calls it, that pushed her to make several sinister deals with the Nazis, as she was willing to do anything to that his brand survives the war.
In trying to find the common denominator between Chanel as a champion of women’s fashion and Chanel as a Nazi collaborator, Binoche focused on the designer’s early childhood experiences – which are not addressed in the series – to approach his role without judgment.
Chanel “learned to lie, in a way, to survive,” says Binoche, pointing out how the real-life designer hid her childhood in an orphanage in order to be taken seriously in the affluent fashion world.
And it is in the name of survival that Dior and Chanel continually push their moral, ethical and creative boundaries throughout the 10-episode season. Ultimately, their lives are turned upside down by the war, which alters the trajectory of their careers and jeopardizes their legacy.
Press PLAY on the video above to hear the cast and crew reveal what’s coming in the series. SO, click on the comments to share if you will look The new look seeing Chanel and Dior come to life on the small screen.
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