You’ll recall it was in December last year that Grazia Daily first reported Blake Lively will be fronting Chanel’s campaign for their new Mademoiselle handbag – and today we bring you a glorious first glimpse. Wowee. The image, shot by Lagerfeld himself, features Blake's perfectly proportioned face reflected and fractured in a mirror as her trademark luscious locks flow over a feathered black frock and a blood-red quilted Chanel bag takes centre stage on her shoulder. It’s a seductive, sophisticated image - and totally Blake.
But let's rewind a few years because, in fact, the Blake/Chanel fairytale began waaay back in November 2007 when the beautiful Gossip Girler sported a flowing Michael Kors frock [above], which caught the all-powerful eye of a certain Anna Wintour. “Michael Kors took me to my first big fashion event,” the actress explained, “and because of that yellow dress I got Anna’s attention, and through Anna I met Karl.”
The rumours really began frothing when Monsieur Lagerfeld joined Blake at the Paris Ritz for a US Vogue fashion shoot in the summer of 2010, after which Uncle Karl allegedly offered her a megabucks modelling contract. “I had other opportunities and I would say, ‘Thank you so much, but I am holding out for Chanel,’ ” Blake told the NY Times. “That’s who I want to be the face of. And people would say, ‘Well, that’s unrealistic, they only hire Europeans,’ and I said: ‘Well, how great. I’ll be the first then.’” Blimey, how’s that for a fashion fantasy come true?
And now that the results are in, it's clear to see La Lively’s perseverance has paid off. Like 25-year-old Lily Allen, who previously fronted Chanel's advertising for its Cocoon handbag collection, 23-year-old Blake will bring a younger vibe to the heritage brand, connecting it with a new generation of customer. A Gossip Girl generation, no less.
And just to stir our envy, Blake’s had a faaabulous weekend to celebrate her new role for the French house. Among her first orders of business upon arriving in Paris this Saturday was a stop at pastry palace Ladurée. No doubt their colourful macaroons were the perfect pre-party pick-me-up before hitting the swanky dinner held in her honour that evening. The usual Chanel crew, including Lou Doillon, Leigh Lezark and Caroline Sieber, joined Lagerfeld at the rue Cambon store to toast Blake as the brand’s latest lovely. Ugh, sickening.
With her usual sartorial swish, The Girl With No Stylist looked suitably resplendent (and there's that double dose of Blake again thanks to another mirror reflection. Very clever, Karl!). Her gwageous silver frock with a tiered skirt and delicate pearls at the waist is from Chanel’s S/S ‘08 couture collection, teamed with strappy Louboutin sandals. And before long, fashiondom's new darling was partying the night away with her bessie, Florence Welsh, who recently made a cameo on Gossip Girl. Seriously, could we be more jealous?
Apparently yes. Because, aside from landing what we can only assume is a wardrobe-full of shiny new Chanel bags, Blake spent Sunday afternoon swaning about the French capital shopping for the perfect togs to wear them with. First stop was Christian Louboutin, where she was shown the store’s delights by the shoe master himself. Such special treatment is only to be expected, of course, for the lady who has a Louboutin named after her. Grrr! So having selected a pair of glitzy rhinestone booties, a be-hatted Blake trotted off down the road arm-in-arm with the man himself. Oh, why can’t our lives be like this? *sigh*
- Jessica Vince