Seventies cinema inspires Chloé’s new filmic collaboration with artist Isabelle Cornaro

For her second collection for Chloé, creative director Natacha Ramsay-Levi name-checked heroines of 1970s cinema, like Anjelica Huston and Stéphane Audran, as inspiration. Her A/W 2018 offering for the Parisian house was an ode to the decade, and featured a palette of retro autumnal shades, silk shirts with deep collars and a graphic print courtesy of an archive Karl Lagerfeld design.

Independent and experimental 1970s cinema has also informed Film For Tess, a video project celebrating the launch of Chloé’s ‘Tess’ bag, conceived by Isabelle Cornaro. The French artist is renowned for her multimedia work – which includes film and sculpture – and features familiar, functional or domestic objects, curated in a way to make us question the symbolic value we place on material goods. ‘Its about the question of desire; being willing to possess an object’, she says of the concept behind Film For Tess, an abstract narrative which frames, focuses and tracks the bag’s design – like its ‘O’ shape hardware detailing and round profile. The bag is presented alongside a series of objects, which include glass decanters, flea market-found pots, an unsettling animal mask, and the intricately engraved metal heel of a boot in Chloé’s A/W 2018 collection.

‘There is a lot of richness in the variety of materials, which excite the eye,’ Cornaro says of the selection of artefacts. ‘Velvet, metal, shiny glass bottles, all sorts of things that reflect the light.’ She looked to American filmmaker Gregory Markopoulos and Greek-American actor and director John Cassavetes when concepting the film, shooting with her usual 16mm ‘for more depth and more grain’. The film is interspersed with flickers of saturated colour, illuminating the Tess with bold urgency.

‘It’s about an atmosphere and a mood,’ Cornaro adds of the presented objects, which are twinkling and colourful, opulent, and easily recognisable. ‘They are objects that could surround the Chloé woman. Emancipated and free, sophisticated and luxurious.’ §

Coinciding with ‘Film For Tess’, Cornaro has also conceived a pop-up installation in a selection of Chloé’s global boutiques, from Paris to Tokyo, Hong Kong to New York.

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