This dress design was featured in Chanel No. 5 The Film, a landmark long-form advertisement for the famed fragrance, directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Nicole Kidman, who had recently starred in Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge. The commercial, which was both the longest (the uncut original has a three-minute run time) and most expensive (with a $42 million budget) advertisement created up until then, has become iconic of the era and future fashion houses soon followed suit with their own mini-movies. An example of this dress design appears at the end of the commercial, when Kidman, playing the role of a starlet trying to escape the spotlight, walks a red carpet full of adoring fans, all the while looking off dreamily into the distance at a scrappy, handsome artiste-type young man she'd rather be with.

During Paul's years as visual director for Chanel, we collected various “novelty” pieces from each season's collection. We were always tickled by the idea of an iconic brand like Chanel making basketballs, kites, surfboards and the like, wondering if people actually used them once they bought them. Truthfully, we almost never did, but we appreciated their camp value, and like all collectors, their scarcity!

Pavel Zoubok