Behind the Scenes of the Chanel Fall/Winter 2010 Ad Campaign

After a day and a half of reading the twitter frenzy about Karl Lagerfeld being in New York City, I decided to head to the lower east side to see the spectacle for myself and shoot some photos. I almost didn’t go due to a prior engagement, but thankfully a few fellow fashion bloggers on twitter convinced me it was worth it, and I skipped my other event.

Lets just say it was DEFINITELY worth it. I not only met Freja and Abbey Lee, but also the Kaiser himself– KARL LAGERFELD!!!! But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself…

When I arrived on the set, the production had stopped for a lunch break. I found a bench to sit on and chatted with a few local store owners about the shoot. Most seemed pretty excited about it. After a short while, I noticed Freja about twenty feet away from me, smoking. Soon after, she went back to her trailer. And emerged with Abbey. They both went back and forth between two trailers about three times while I watched. Freja kept looking at me funny for taking photos (no one else was around at this point), but finally smiled:

CHANEL: Freja Smiles

CHANEL: Freja & Abbey Synch Up

While I was waiting for Karl to appear, I made a new friend:

I didn’t have to wait long though. After about five more minutes, a charter mini-bus arrived with Karl, his bodyguard, and more crew.


Once the models were ready, Karl got back in to the cherry picker, ready to shoot again.


Chanel f/w '10 Campaign: Karl Lagerfeld

The first shot was Abbey on the fire escape:
Chanel f/w '10 Campaign: Abbey Lee Kershaw



Furry boots, waiting to be used.

The second shot was Freja, walking down Orchard Street:



Karl approves.

His assistant checks the camera settings.


Abbey watches.

Chanel f/w '10 Campaign: Karl Lagerfeld, Abbey Lee Kershaw, and Freja Beha Erichsen
Freja comes closer.


While Karl photographs each look, a small army of assistants stand by, ready to be beckoned:

CHANEL: Makeup Artist
The makeup artist.

CHANEL: Stylist Assistant
Stylist assistant with alternate handbag options.


After the shot was complete, Karl and crew gathered around the monitor to see the results:
CHANEL: Crew 2

CHANEL: Karl Takes a Break 1
Karl takes a break.

The girls returned, wearing Chanel’s signature tweed:

I want this bracelet so badly!

When shooting resumed, Freja and Abbey posed together:




The crew figured out which looks still needed to be photographed:

After, everyone takes a peek at the completed shots:

The third look was winter whites:

Freja and Abbey goofed around while Karl got ready:

Karl giving direction.






Bringing the male model in:
I really just don’t know what to say about this look.

Abbey posed with a fan:
CHANEL: Abbey Lee with a Fan

I tried to get a photo with Abbey, but she was called away by a crew member. She apologized profusely, but I told her it was ok.

Freja posed sitting in the street for her next solo shot:

Watching Freja.

Realizing the sun was quickly setting, Karl walked down Orchard looking for the location of his last few shots. He settled on another fire escape, this time in red.






I took a quick video of Karl in action. Wendy from Nitrolicious does the intro:

Checking the results after the shoot:


Large crowds had been watching the action most of the day. I was surprised to see designer Katie Gallagher, who’s show I attended last month, walk by to see it for herself.

Designer Katie Gallagher and Friends

Freja changed into her last look, and took a short break while Karl snapped some personal photos:



The very last shot was Freja on the fire escape:

After that, the shoot wrapped! Wendy, who I’d been hanging out with on set all day really wanted to get a photo with Karl. So we hung around for a bit, then started walking back to the trailers with all of the crew. On the way, Abbey and Freja walked right past me. I asked if I could now get a photo with both of them, to which they kindly obliged:

I’m 5’9″, but I felt very short.
(And I swear none of us have demon eyes in real life).

Karl stopped in front of his trailer to talk to his coworkers. Wendy asked his bodyguard if we could get photos, and he told us not yet, to wait until Karl was done talking. After about five minutes, Karl looked over and we made eye contact. I knew that was our chance. I put my hands up and mimed taking a photo, then pointed to Wendy and I. And he nodded ok!!! We both got our photos with Karl, and thanked him profusely.


I’ve been lucky, in the past year I’ve met so many great artists, designers, and musicians that I admire. I never would have dreamed that I’d one day meet Karl. He truly is a living legend. And despite what people might think, he was very kind! In person, he seemed very quiet and almost a bit shy. Thanks Karl and Chanel for coming to NYC and letting us all take photos on set!

See the full photo set here.

All Photos and Content ®2010 RS/The Greyest Ghost
Please do not reproduce with out prior permission.

71 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes of the Chanel Fall/Winter 2010 Ad Campaign

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  20. hey rachel!
    WOW awesome! i saw it on wendy’s site…didint know you know her hahah so funny, i check her site like everyday!
    if you have a chance to send our 3D pictures over i would love it, cause im making this photobook of NYC and want to include our pictures! i didint notice ed filmed while we were in the irish pub!!! hahah he did!


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  24. If I didn’t read the intro, I would’ve thought that you were taking production stills for Chanel! I love love love this post.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us!


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