THE FIRST CHRISTIAN DIOR perfume ad that ever caught our attention was the 2008 Sofia Coppola-directed Miss Dior Cherie television commercial featuring model Maryna Linchuk frolicking around the boulevards of Paris to the strains of Brigitte Bardot’s “Moi, Je Joue”. (You can watch this advert below.) Coppola has since collaborated with many other brands including Gap, Marc Jacobs and H&M, all looking to inject some of Coppola’s visually arresting, sensual style to their products. The director applied many of her signature filmmaking techniques to these ad campaigns, including plenty of soft pastel colours, cool soundtracks and languorous camera movements.
Aside for the odd, nonsensical Christmas commercial featuring Charlize Theron, it would be years before we would take notice of another Dior perfume commercial in the same way again. This commercial/short film would of course be Robert Pattinson‘s 2013 spot with Camille Rowe in an elevator, going viral on social media long after it first aired. The discovery of this wildly sexy short film would lead to Pattinson’s other commercial with Rowe, to the soundtrack of the Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”. This would inevitably lead us to the Dior Homme commercial featuring Robert Pattinson and Lana Zakocela set to Leonard Cohen’s “I’m Your Man”, which has received over 19 million views on Youtube to date.
The “capable and exotically beautiful” (The New York Times) and “endlessly watchable” (San Francisco Chronicle) Pattinson clearly has the ability to command our attention, and like Brad Pitt and Robert Redford before him, exudes a profound ambivalence about his heartthrob status. Pattinson has a relationship with Dior which far precedes I’m Your Man, first appearing in an ad for the house back in 2013—we’ve selected our favourites for you to watch below. We’ve also included Miss Dior ad campaigns featuring Natalie Portman to give you a sense of how these perfume ads have changed over time, both in styling and messaging.
DIOR HOMME – I’m Your Man
This Dior Homme advert, starring Robert Pattinson and Latvia-born Paris-based model Lana Zakocela, inspired by the iconic song “I’m your Man” by Leonard Cohen, was released in France on February 1, 2020. It was directed by The Blaze, the French producing and directing duo consisting of cousins Guillaume and Jonathan Alric, whose recent work also includes a remix of The Weeknd’s track “After Hours“ released on the deluxe edition of the music artist’s new album “After Hours”. It’s a story about romance set against the backdrop of New York City at night and its 45 seconds have so captivated viewers that it was been watched well over an astonishing 19 million times.
“This new Dior Homme has an unmistakably virile signature that does not prevent it from developing tender, sensual accents. It basically draws the portrait of a modern man.” François Demachy, Dior Perfumer-Creator
DIOR HOMME – Whole Lotta Love
THE DIOR HOMME FALL/WINTER 2013 FRAGRANCE CAMPAIGN
This short film, set in New York, stars Robert Pattinson and French model Camille Rowe. Artfully shot in black and white by Nan Goldin, it is directed by Romain Gavras. At 1:45, it is an entire minute longer than the 2020 ad, but is not short on romance. There are intimate glimpses of the couple at home, at a formal party, driving on the beach, kissing on the bed, in an elevator, underwater—all set to the classic Led Zeppelin track “Whole Lotta Love”.
Dior Homme ‘The Film’ with Robert Pattinson – The Elevator
This sexy 2013 short film for Dior Homme Eau for Men, again starring Robert Pattinson and French model Camille Rowe has recently gone viral on social media, eight years after it was first shot. The film, titled The Elevator, was directed by Romain Gavras, who also directed the pair in Dior Homme’s Whole Lotta Love (above).
MISS DIOR CHERIE – directed by Sofia Coppola (2008)
ABOVE: WATCH THE 2008 SOFIA COPPOLA-DIRECTED COMMERCIAL
This infectiously happy commercial, directed by Sofia Coppola, follows model Maryna Linchuk as she bounds through the boulevards of Paris, shopping, trying on evening gowns, eating pastries and riding her bicycle, all set to the strains of Brigitte Bardot’s “Moi, Je Joue”. There’s a pastel hue in the air, literally, as Linchuck is swept away by an enormous bouquet of pastel balloons at the end. This advert was so well-received at the time, it’s thought that Rihanna’s 2010 “Only Girl (in the World)” music video might have been inspired by Coppola’s work.
The spot follows the format we’ve come to expect from a modern fashion commercial: a glamorous young woman frolicking about in urban vignettes–in this case, Paris. The piece … evokes MARIE ANTOINETTE in its baroque, Old World setting while the handheld, naturally-lit cinematography and Brigitte Bardot’s midcentury pop song “Moi Je Joue” suggests a considerable debt to the traditions of the French New Wave (and a dash of Fellini for good measure). The muted color scheme–comprised primarily of fashionable pastel pinks–echoes the female mystique that runs through Coppola’s filmography, employed here as a kind of carefree femininity; the kind that arises when a girl is comfortable and confident in her sartorial choices.
Coppola’s work here is evidence that her particular talents are naturally harnessed in service to the advertising industry. Despite serving the overlords of commerce instead of her own artistic self-fulfillment, her vision remains as distinctive and immediately identifiable as ever, and makes for memorable ad that walks the runway with its head held high.
Natalie Portman has been the face of Christian Dior Parfums’ since 2010, when she first became the face of Miss Dior Cherie. The Israeli-born American actress, director and producer has also fronted Rouge Dior lipstick campaigns since 2013. She follows in the footsteps of Charlize Theron, Monica Bellucci and Sharon Stone.
DIOR – Miss Dior Chérie (2011)
This 48-second commercial for the Miss Dior Chérie fragrance by Christian Dior, also directed by Sofia Coppola, was first released in France on September 1, 2011. It stars Alden Ehrenreich and Natalie Portman as a couple in love. There is a très chic apartment and a large bouquet of pale pink roses, a little black dress and an elegant tux, pillow talk and soft kisses, a swan gliding along in a pond and Portman in the bath with sunglasses, all set to the 1976 song “Je T’aime Moi Non Plus” by Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg.
MISS DIOR – La Vie en Rose
MISS DIOR: LA VIE EN ROSE (2013)
Two years after directing Natalie Portman in the 2011 Miss Dior Chérie spot with Alden Ehrenreich (above), director Sofia Coppola is back with the French fashion house’s ad campaign for Miss Dior.
In this advert, Portman is a girl in love: frolicking in a fountain in a black strapless gown, swimming in sunglasses and jewellery; riding in a convertible in a pink strapless gown along a palm tree-lined street; lying on a sofa daydreaming and languidly in a garden idly smelling a pink rose; and of course, being kissed by her love—and all to the strains of a modern version of Edith Piaf’s La Vie En Rose. The spot ends with the words, “Life is rosy in her eyes: la vie en rose”.
MISS DIOR – The new Eau de Parfum
The 2017 Miss Dior film starring Natalie Portman shows a departure from the past, as it was directed by Emmanuel Cossu and not Sofia Coppola. Also known for his music videos for Gesaffelstein and Sebastien Tellier, this is Cossu’s first collaboration with Maison Parfums Christian Dior.
Muse of the French fashion house since 2010, Natalie Portman embodies this newest facet of the iconic range: Miss Dior Eau de Parfum. In this short film, shot in Paris and Los Angeles, the actress is fiery and free, filled with passion and flashes of anger, sensual, amorous and provocative. Plunging into the sea in a Dior gown, she would do anything for love: “Miss Dior is much more of a woman now, liberated and strong. She’s a modern princess, and she lives in the moment right now”, explains the actress.
This ad campaign redefines who “Miss Dior” is. It is an artful narrative in the format of a very short film set to the soundtrack of Sia’s hit song “Chandelier”, and was one of the 10 most watched ads on YouTube in 2017.
PAST MISS DIOR CHERIE ADS
Model Lily Donaldson featured in the Christian Dior Parfums advertisement campaign for Spring/Summer 2007. When this ad first appeared in magazines, it created a stir for Miss Dior Chérie—the house, the car, “the luxury of freedom” captured the imaginations of many impressionable fashionistas around the world.
Natalie Portman by Tim Walker for Miss Dior Chérie, 2011
WHO IS ROBERT PATTINSON?
English actor, producer, model and musician, Robert Douglas Thomas Pattinson, was born on May 13, 1986 in London, the youngest of three children of Clare (Charlton), a booker at a modelling agency, and Richard Pattinson, a vintage car dealer. He grew up in a small home in Barnes with two older sisters, Elizabeth (Lizzy) and Victoria. Pattinson began learning the guitar and piano at the age of four. He attended Tower House School until the age of 12, after which time he attended The Harrodian School.
For extra money, he worked as a photo model for British fashion brands and magazines during his teens. Pattinson’s love of cinema also began at this time, counting Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando and Jean-Paul Belmondo among his acting idols. In his late teens and early twenties, Pattinson performed acoustic guitar gigs at open mic nights in pubs around London where he sang his own written songs either solo or under the stage name Bobby Dupea, or with his band Bad Girls.
Pattinson considered becoming a musician or going to university to study speech-writing, but never thought about pursuing an acting career; his teacher in school even advised him not to join the drama club because she thought him unsuited to the creative arts. When he was 13, however, he joined Barnes Theatre Company, the local amateur theatre club, after his father convinced him to attend because he was quite shy.
His film career began with the role of Cedric Diggory in the film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005). He would gain worldwide recognition three years later for his portrayal of Edward Cullen in The Twilight Saga film series (2008–2012), which grossed over $3.3 billion worldwide. After starring in the romantic dramas Remember Me (2010) and Water for Elephants (2011), Pattinson received critical acclaim for his performances in independent films from auteur directors. He starred in David Cronenberg’s thriller Cosmopolis (2012), David Michôd’s dystopian western The Rover (2014), James Gray’s adventure drama The Lost City of Z (2016), the Safdie Brothers’ crime drama Good Time (2017), Claire Denis’ science-fiction drama High Life (2018), and Robert Eggers’ psychological horror film The Lighthouse (2019). He then returned to mainstream films with a leading role in Christopher Nolan’s spy film Tenet (2020), and will star as the DC Comics superhero Batman in Matt Reeves’ film The Batman (2022).
Noted for his versatile roles in both big-budget and independent films, Pattinson has been ranked among the world’s highest-paid actors. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and he was featured in the Forbes Celebrity 100 list. Aside from acting, Pattinson plays the guitar and piano, writes music and has sung on several soundtracks for film.
As mentioned earlier, Pattinson began his modelling at the age of 12. In November 2010, the heartthrob was approached by Burberry to be the face of their brand with a £1m deal, which he turned down. In 2013, Dior Homme signed him as the face of their fragrances. He appeared in two black and white short films with model Camille Rowe for the French fashion house that same year. In February 2016 he was also announced as the first ambassador of Dior Men menswear and appeared in multiple print campaigns, photographed by Karl Lagerfeld, Peter Lindbergh and David Sims.
WHO IS CAMILLE ROWE?
Camille Chrystal Pourcheresse was born on January 7, 1990 in Paris to an American mother, who was a model and dancer at Le Lido club, and a French father, whose family is in the restaurant business. Her childhood was split between Paris, New York, and California.
Rowe was spotted in 2008, at a café in Le Marais, Paris, while studying at university and became the face of Chloé. Her modelling career took off thanks to the French fashion houses Louis Vuitton and Dior. She has been a regular on Dior’s front row since 2014. The model was named Playboy Playmate of the Month for April 2016 and also joined the Victoria’s Secret family that same year, making her catwalk debut in New York in November 2016. In 2017, she become the face of Dior’s new fragrance, Poison Girl. She has also starred in a few films, including Hosea (2019), Cosmic Dawn (2020), Knuckledust (2020) and has two films coming out this year. Rowe also starred in music videos for MGMT and The Strokes.
She has appeared in magazines such as Vogue Paris, Marie Claire Italia, Madame Figaro, Vogue Italia, Vogue España, and Elle France. Her modelling credits include Louis Vuitton, Opening Ceremony, Gap Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch, Tommy Hilfiger, Seafolly, Rag & Bone, H&M, Tory Burch, Ralph Lauren, and Adidas Originals.
Perhaps best known as Harry Styles’ ex-girlfriend (the two dated in 2017-2018), Rowe starred opposite Robert Pattinson in both Whole Lotta Love and The Elevator short film adverts (seen above) in 2013.
Chloe Fragrance 2012: Camille Rowe by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin
The l’Eau de Chloé fragrance campaign from 2012 featuring Rowe, who went by Camille Rowe-Pourcheresse at the time. She was 21. Accompanying the visuals was a series of behind-the-scenes photographs from the advertising shoot. Mario Sorrenti directed the ﬁlm, with still photography by Camilla Akrans. Ezra Petronio art-directed the campaign.
BEFORE ROBERT PATTINSON,
THERE WAS JUDE LAW
Robert Pattinson has often been referred to as the next Jude Law. Funnily enough, before Pattinson, British actor Jude Law fronted many fragrance campaigns for the house of Dior. The last collaboration with the legendary French fashion house and the actor is this 2012 advertising campaign for Dior Homme Cologne, shot in the French Riviera by Peter Lindbergh.
DIOR HOMME – Un Rendez Vous
This 5 minute spot for Dior Homme was directed by Guy Ritchie and stars Jude Law, whom Ritchie worked with in Sherlock Holmes. Titled “Un Rendez Vous”, it features Law and Michaela Kocianova setting up a sexy rendezvous in Paris. We’re not sure about you, but we prefer the soft romance of Robert Pattinson’s spots for Dior Homme over this one.
Jude Law as the face of Dior Homme Sport shot by John Cameron Mitchell