Sunday, July 15, 2007

She's only got 2 & 1/2 expressions, for Pete's sake!!

I am not a catty person. Really, I am not. But the news some months ago that the expresioneless, manufactured-to-be-a-star, young, skinny Keira Knightley would be the new face of Chanel, substituting Kate Moss in the ads for Coco Mademoiselle perfume brought out the meow in me.
And this September the prospect of opening any glossy or switching on the TV risking to come face to face with her pouty mug is somehow giving me the creeps. You can say I am positively repelled.

Obviously, my opinion in corporate marketing doesn't matter at all; otherwise instead of coping with papers and mycenean amphorae I would be sitting at a board meeting vetoing choices like the above. Not that I regret it, because -let's face it- it's a fluff business at heart. However it would be kind of fun to shot down faces like Keira's.

The girl was all right in "Bend it like Beckham". Nobody knew her, she wasn't smug, the other girl was great in this film and Jonathan Rhys Meyers was exhibiting his own charm aplenty. And the film was original and refreshing!
Since then I can safely argue that I haven't seen her in anything in which she -specifically- was worthy of mention and her nomination for the Academy Awards for "Pride and Prejudice" (a flat, boring adaptation if there ever were one; what happened with that perfect BBC version?) convinced me we have to bear with ms.Knightley as long as the studios think they have the new version of sliced bread on their hands. Like I said, the girl's only got two and a half expressions (one of which is that pouty one depicted above)...Have you actually seen her laugh? Small children are intimidated into eating all their veggies when faced with such a toothy chukle.
I won't even think of commenting on her pretend angry/tough "face", because, really, you don't want to hear any more meow out of me...

But Perfume Shrine has a responsibility to the readers. And the same way we were the first to report the lovely news and pics of Kate Winslet as new face for Trésor, so we had the responsibility to not lag behind because of our personal displeasure. So here it is. The print ad and the stills from the TV spot shot by Joe Wright that will air on our screens in the upcoming months.

Chanel has always been very careful about their advertising campaigns and their Chanel No.5 series is testament to that, as well as their wonderful Egoiste and Coco commercials, two of the most memorable ones in all perfume advertising. Perfume Shrine had elaborated on a series of those commercials in the past.
You can read the whole article on No.5 clicking here and on Egoiste and Coco here with multimedia links to the commercials themselves.

The statements exchanged for the new campaign went somewhat like this
(reported in this link):
"Keira Knightley is a bright, young actress who has already made her mark in a diverse portfolio of films, including her Oscar-nominated performance in `Pride & Prejudice'" said Chanel artistic director Jacques Helleu in a statement.

He also said Knightley's elegance, beauty and modernity parallel some of the brand's other previous famous faces, including Catherine Deneuve and Nicole Kidman, who represented Chanel No. 5.

"(I am) really proud to have been asked to work with such an iconic house as Chanel, and thrilled to follow the extraordinary women who have been associated with it before," Knightley said in a statement.

"We think Keira is perfect because she is always incredibly alluring and seductive," said a Chanel spokesman. "She would not have looked out of place in the Forties or Fifties, and that's why she was chosen - to show a timeless chic that will never fade."

Keira herself went as far as to suggest that "Chanel's Coco is the first perfume I've ever worn" , which oddly (enter sarcasm) reminds me of a parallel statement by Nicole Kidman when she was signed for the No.5 campaign. No matter that we do know she opts for several others over it....

In the new ads Keira is trying to cement her sexy(?) and naughty(?) reputation -supposedly she was voted "sexiest actress" in a UK poll- playing around with a bowler hat, Berlinesque-stripper style (oh, she should get some lessons from Charlotte Rampling...) and indulging in gentle gender-play (no relation with those great commercials that you can read on and see here).

And frankly? I think the red Karl Lagerfel dress does not suit Coco Mademoiselle. But you can always say that my fangs are showing...

Pics come from popsugar, poponthepop and style.popcrunch sites.


  1. Anonymous19:38

    Couldn't agree less, but there you go! And I love that dress/perfume, so I guess I would never agree. Can't say I think Keira Knightley is the best actress (true about the Pride and Prejudice) but she is very beautiful.

  2. Anon,

    thanks for your comment, which is very valid (she's beautiful if not a good actress) and after actually seeing the commercial a little later than this post, I took it all back. It was indeed a most lovely commercial from start to finish. It even made me see Keira with a slightly different eye ;-)


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