CHIC FLICK: The fashion world is depicted with lots of clichés in the French comedy “Chic.” The film follows Hélène, an executive in a prestigious fashion house whose designer, Alicia Ricosi, played by Fanny Ardant, is capricious. In addition to Ardant, the cast includes 39-year-old actress Marina Hands; Éric Elmosnino, who starred in the “Gainsbourg” biopic, and Laurent Stocker, a sociétaire of the Comédie-Française. It is set to open in France on Jan. 7.
Under pressure at work, Hélène on a whim just fired her gardener. Her designer, dumped by her boyfriend, runs out of inspiration a few weeks before the collections. The gardener might be the only one capable of reigniting it. The film plays on the gap between the fashion world and the gardener’s one.
Director Jérôme Cornuau chose to go for a fictional house versus teaming up with a real one. “We wanted to create a character with her own style,” costume designer Pierre-Jean Larroque said. “Our job is to tell stories, not to place products. We aren’t here to be a showcase for a brand. It gives us freedom,” he said. That said, fashion credits include agnès b., Burberry and Christian Louboutin.
Larroque worked with three seamstresses for three months on the costumes — many of them were created especially for the film — with a budget of 100,000 euros, or $124,000 at current exchange.
Ardant was able to give her input. Among her key looks are a pleated tartan skirt with a plum top or a shirt with a flowered pattern paired with leather bloomers and worn with Louboutin boots. “She is a woman who likes flowers so I designed a golden bracelet with anemones, inspired by the Seventies,” Larroque explained.
“For me, Ricosi’s design is a mix of Sonia Rykiel and Diane von Furstenberg,” Larroque continued. “It’s a fashion created by a woman for women. I gathered information about Diane von Furstenberg’s universe, her interior, the way she works, etc.” He cited Loïc Prigent’s documentary miniseries “The Day Before” on von Furstenberg among research materials.