"Russian Connection" is Karl Lagerfelds exploration of all things Russian. The book presents photos by Lagerfeld centred around Paris-Moscou, his 2008/9 Metiers dArts collection for Chanel, showcasing the fastidious workmanship of the Parisian ateliers that provide couture houses with decorative specialities such as artificial flowers, embroidery, feathers, costume jewellery, shoes and millinery. If Paris-Moscou indulges Lagerfelds fascination for Russia through fashion, then Russian Connection is that fascination embodied in book form. His vision is panoptic from Imperial Russia to Constructivism, from Catherine the Great to Faberge, from Russian folklore to Coco Chanels own passion for Russia including the Ballets Russes, Byzantine jewellery and her affair with the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich. The book combines Lagerfelds photographs from the accessoirisation and preparation for Paris-Moscou in Coco Chanels apartment in the rue Cambon, with film stills from Coco 1913 Chanel 1923, a silent black-and-white film portraying Coco Chanels flirtation with Russian-Parisian emigre society in the 1910s and 1920s.
Lagerfeld himself was responsible for the original concept and art direction of the film, which features a cast of his friends. Coco 1913 Chanel 1923 opened the Paris-Moscou show at the Theatre le Ranelagh on 3 December 2008 in Paris, and is released for the first time to the public on a DVD included in Russian Connection.