By Julio MEDEM


Drama - Development 2014

Amidst the social unrest of May 1968, the legendary rivalry between Coco Chanel and Spanish fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga comes to a tragic ending as he relives the epic love story that allowed him to bring down Hitler’s plans to dismantle the French fashIon industry.

    • Year of production
    • 2014
    • Genres
    • Drama, Historical
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Director(s)
    • Julio MEDEM
    • Writer(s)
    • Julia FONTANA, Pablo GOMEZ
    • Producer(s)
    • Miriam PORTÉ (Distinto Films)
    • Synopsis
    • Paris, May of 1968. The media report on a disaster: Cristóbal Balenciaga is retiring.
      The Basque designer, who Christian Dior refers to as “the master of us all,” is going to leave hundreds unemployed, while the end of his business threatens to deliver the final blow to one of the main industries in France. The news comes at a time when the Government cannot afford another crisis. The Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs, determined to prevent this development from damaging its negotiations with unions, reaches out to the one person who can make the designer change his mind: Balenciaga’s legendary rival Coco Chanel.
      Using a secret from Cristóbal’s past that only she is privy to, Chanel sends young Ingrid to meet with the designer. The girl, inspired by the ideals of the revolution, is determined to talk Balenciaga into surrendering to prêt-à-porter, which will bring both the death of haute couture and the democratization of fashion. We won’t know why right away, but we soon realize that Ingrid holds immense power over Cristóbal. For some reason that we cannot quite grasp, the designer promises to comply with whatever it is she decides for the future of his business. In exchange, he has one condition: before making up her mind, she must listen to his story. After that, Ingrid will have full authority to determine the future of the legacy of the most relevant designer of all times.
      So begins the incredible tale of the son of a fisherman who fought his way up from the small town of Getaria in northern Spain to the highest peak of Paris high fashion, and who confronted Hitler when, during the German occupation of France, the dictator decided to shift the capital of world fashion from Paris to Berlin.
      Like every success story, this is actually an epic love story: that of Cristóbal with Vladzio D’Attainville, the man who remained in the shadow of his genius and without whom it is impossible to understand his meteoric ascent.
      At a time when homosexuality was equivalent to a death penalty, Cristóbal and Vladzio manage to seduce both the Nazis and Franco’s dictatorship to maintain their business afloat, protect their workers (many of whom were Jewish) and prevent the war from bringing the industry of fashion to its demise.
      In spite of the danger, success arrives, but it does so at the expense of huge sacrifice, as Cristóbal tries not to fall victim to his relationship with Coco Chanel, a friendship that is poisoned by envy and that becomes both the downfall and the culmination of his genius.
      Through romance, political intrigue, glamour and horror, we delve into the biography of one of the key figures of the 20th century. This is the portrait of an introverted Basque who, because he turned his back on the press (he gave only one interview in his entire lifetime), remains unjustly forgotten by history.