Cara Delevingne and Pharrell star in the latest ad from Chanel and share a duet

By Colleen Kratofil
Updated November 24, 2014 06:41 PM
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Chanel’s last big ad was directed by Baz Luhrmann and followed Gisele Bündchen around as she surfed, smooched hot men and looked absolutely gorgeous. So how do you top that? The brand’s Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld (who is never afraid of a celebrity collaboration) managed to up the movie-making ante yet again.

Next week, Chanel will debut a new film directed by Lagerfeld starring Cara Delevingne and Pharrell Williams as the Emperor and Empress of Austria (read: high wigs, dramatic ball skirts and opulent set decorating, you know, the Chanel norm). It also features an original song written by Pharrell and performed as a duet between the stars (yes, the supermodel sings). Here’s what we know so far.


Daniel Leal-Olivas/AP

Set to premiere at the Métiers d’Art collection show in Salzburg, Austria, on December 1, the film, titled Reincarnation, pays homage to the brand’s famous quilted jacket. It tells a tale (in an elaborate dream sequence) that follows Gabrielle Chanel as she vacations in Austria. After noticing the hotel elevator operator’s jacket, inspiration strikes, and the rest is history.

Pharrell plays an operator-turned-Emperor-of-Austria, Franz Joseph I, and Delevingne, his wife, Empress Elisabeth “Sisi” of Austria. What follows is waltzing, singing and staring deep into each others eyes to the original song, “CC the World.” In the sneak peek clip posted on Instagram, among the gongs and bells and Pharrell’s soothing voice, we hear a snippet of Delevingne’s singing chops — and assuming that’s her on the high notes, we’d think she was a seasoned pro.

But in typical Delevingne fashion (the kind that everything she touches turns to gold), this actually marks her singing debut. As Lagerfeld told WWD, “For her to start singing with Pharrell is not that bad, no?”

No, not at all. When the model heard the news that she’d be performing with The Voice judge she had a hard time containing her excitement. “I was so happy, I think I screamed down the phone at him,” she shared. Getting to star in a Chanel ad, wear a Cinderella-esque ball gown and have a mentor like Pharrell? We’d say it solidifies her as the luckiest. model. ever.

To influence the musician, Lagerfeld sent Pharrell “all kinds of Viennese music.” Lagerfeld told the publication, “He was easy to work with, very pleasant. He’s very professional.”

For his part, Pharrell referred to Lagergeld as “one of my idols, in terms of fashion and great taste and tone.”

Others set to make an appearance in the ad? Geraldine Chaplin as Chanel, Lady Amanda Harlech, who appeared in Lagerfeld’s last pre-collection film Private View and 6-year-old Hudson Kroenig. We can’t wait until the full ad debuts, but for now, tell us what you think. Are you a fan of Karl Lagerfeld’s new ad? Sound off below.

–Colleen Kratofil

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