Of all the brands that director Sofia Coppola could have collaborated with on her first commercial, perhaps it’s appropriate that the honor went to the French fashion label Christian Dior. Coppola’s lifelong interest in haute-couture fundamentally informs her artistic aesthetic, to the point that any given frame from THE VIRGIN SUICIDES (1999), LOST IN TRANSLATION (2003) or MARIE ANTOINETTE (2006) could be mistaken for a fashion shoot by the casual observer. As her artistic profile has risen, so has the balance of influence– many prominent fashion designers now reference Coppola’s work for their look books and photo shoots. It was only a matter of time until commerce sought to appropriate her cultural “cool factor”, which leads us to her 2008 spot for Christian Dior, titled “MISS DIOR CHERIE”.
The spot follows the format we’ve come to expect from a modern fashion commercial: a glamorous young woman frolicking about in urban vignettes– in this case, Paris. The piece plays evokes MARIE ANTOINETTE in its baroque, Old World setting while the handheld, naturally-lit cinematography and Brigitte Bardot’s midcentury pop song “Moi Je Joue” suggests a considerable debt to the traditions of the French New Wave (and a dash of Fellini for good measure). The muted color scheme– comprised primarily of fashionable pastel pinks– echoes the female mystique that runs through Coppola’s filmography, employed here as a kind of carefree femininity; the kind that arises when a girl is comfortable and confident in her sartorial choices.
Coppola’s work here is evidence that her particular talents are naturally harnessed in service to the advertising industry. Despite serving the overlords of commerce instead of her own artistic self-fulfillment, her vision remains as distinctive and immediately identifiable as ever, and makes for memorable ad that walks the runway with its head held high.
CHRISTIAN DIOR: “MISS DIOR CHERIE” is currently available via the YouTube embed above.