In conversation with Michelle Williams, nominated for best actress in a leading role at the 95th Oscars for her performance in ‘the fabelmans’ by Steven Spielberg.
It’s the 5th time you’re nominated for an Oscar, 3rd time for Best Actress in a Leading Role. How does it feel? Is it different each time? How about this year for this particular movie?
Every time feels like the first time. I can’t believe it’s happening to me and I’m aflutter with excitement, and then suddenly I’m curled up in a little ball of gratitude on the floor. This year my husband and kids joined me, and we had a nice floor cuddle. This movie was a seminal experience for me. To be acknowledged for this role was especially meaningful, and alongside so many of my beloved collaborators as well. We were a family when we made this movie and we will all be together again, for one last time, at the Oscars.
What do you like about this custom dress inspired from the latest CHANEL Spring-Summer 2023 Haute Couture collection?
Oh this dress! It’s like falling asleep looking at the stars and waking up in the morning mist to discover they have fallen on you while you slept. It’s a celestial whisper.
What’s usually the process with your stylist when choosing your look for the Oscars?
For the Oscars, Kate (Young) and I talk all season about what we might like things to end in. The final chord of the song, how we might like to bring a conclusion to all the red carpets. And the fairy tale elegance of this dress strikes the perfect note for us.
It’s the 2nd time you’re wearing a CHANEL Haute Couture dress after Cannes Film Festival last year. What is so special about wearing CHANEL?
When you wear Chanel, you feel the history of the creative pulse of the brand. Referencing the past but pushing us forward into realms of newly imagined beauty. You feel the unparalleled workmanship, delicacy, and precision. You feel at your most beautiful.
What do you love the most about the embroideries on this dress? What does this craftsmanship inspire you?
I love to feel the hand of the maker. Knowing that the placement of each embroidery was thought about creatively and then applied skillfully is a perfect encapsulation of an entire creative process.
How would you describe your relationship with CHANEL?
I’m honored to have worn two Chanel dresses this season, one while I was pregnant with my son and now this one while he sits in his bouncer as I get ready. I appreciate that the femininity of the brand has encompassed me in both phases of my life, as an actress and a mother.
Did you know Virginie Viard started her career as a movie costume designer? How important are clothes in your work as an actress?
I can’t do my job if I’m wearing the wrong costume! I like to start work early with the costume designer and send reference photos back and forth. We work as a true team until we find the place beyond words where we both look in the mirror happily. For ‘The Fabelmans’, Steven’s mother had a distinctive personal style, so we made replicas of what she wore. She was known to wear Lederhosen! She favored Peter Pan collars and overalls and would cut a hole for her head in a blanket and wear it as a poncho. She knew what suited her and, in fact, she had a tailor because she wanted things just so. Her keen sense of self helped her to always look her best.
Can you tell us about your upcoming projects for this year?
I made my fourth film with Kelly Richard, ‘Showing Up’, which premiered at Cannes last year, and is coming out in theaters this spring.
White silk chiffon, cadi and tulle embroidered bustier dress embellished with a white satin bow in the back and a white embroidered silk tulle cape closed with a jewelled button. This dress is inspired by two looks from the Spring-Summer 2023 Haute Couture collection by Virginie Viard.
The bustier of the dress is entirely embroidered by Montex with silver and white sequins and pearls, echoing look 47.
The starry embroidery inspired by look 39 is composed of strass, sparkles, cubes and silver settings fading towards the bottom of the dress and on the cape.
The bustier is swathed in a silver and white embroidery composed of sequins, pearls and strass made using the Lunéville crochet hook for the base to create a tweed effect, and with needlework to add the shards. 60 000 embroidered elements and 100 hours of embroidery in the Montex ateliers were required. The dress and cape are embellished with a starry embroidery composed of strass, sparkles, cubes and silver settings. Around 20 000 embroidered elements and 500 hours of embroidery were required. Around 900 hours were required in total in the CHANEL Haute Couture ateliers and the Maisons d’art to bring this dress to life.
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