Seemingly all of young Hollywood was at Santa Monica's ever-popular Italian restaurant Giorgio Baldi on Thursday night. The cause? A dinner to celebrate the launch of Chanel's new bag, the Gabrielle.
French model, writer and director Caroline de Maigret, and fellow face of the new brand, Pharrell Williams, acted as hosts for the star-studded evening welcoming guests that included ingenues Kiernan Shipka, Lily Collins, Bella Heathcote, Margaret and Rainey Qualley, and Theresa Palmer. And for many of these young starlets, the Gabrielle may just be their first big investment piece.
"It is my first Chanel bag," marveled Shipka, who wore a white pleated Chanel blouse from the spring collection, noting that her first Chanel purchase, generally speaking, was a pair of shoes. "They were Chanel loafers that I found at a consignment shop, years ago. And I still wear them!" Shipka wasn't the only one reminiscing about Chanel memories. Kenya Kinski-Jones fondly recalled being in Paris for the Chanel show as a young child, and smelling her mother's--iconic model and actress Nastassja Kinski--Chanel No. 5 perfume. The young model proved that early impression into fashion had left a lasting impact, as she preened around the party up with fellow scion Sistine Stallone, wearing a classic Chanel suit jacket backwards. She pulled it off.
Australian actress Palmer, who most recently starred in Hacksaw Ridge, was enjoying a night off from mommy-hood, having just given birth four months ago to a son (she also has a three-year-old son and nine-year-old stepson at home.) The irony of having three sons was not lost on her, laughing as she noted that she would need to keep going until she had a daughter, just so she would have someone to pass her new Gabrielle bag to. But rest assured, someone in the house appreciated the Chanel delivery that had landed on her doorstep together. After hopefully inquiring if the package was for him, Palmer had a bonding moment with one of her sons. "We did open it together," she exclaimed.
It's true; there is something magical about a Chanel purchase--even if one may not be on the receiving end of it. Case in point: Katy Perry, another guest of the evening, who just so happens to be the kind of friend who loves to give Chanel as much as she likes to wear it. "Let me tell you a story. I once gave the country/pop singer Kacey Musgraves one of the Chanel western bags," she said jokingly, trailing off as she recalling the brand's Paris-Dallas collection.
While all of us wish we could call Perry a friend, especially following that story, Pharrell actually can. In fact, the two are even co-hosting this year's Met Gala together. "I'm very excited for the Met," he said. But this evening was all about the Gabrielle, his first Chanel bag. "I started off with the Chanel sunglasses," he mused, "but this is my first bag. She [Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel] was ahead of her time, and Karl is amazing." Pharrell himself is also ahead of his time, as the first male face of the womenswear brand's handbags. When asked if more men should take some of the fashion risks he has, the singer replied, "Is it a risk, though?"
For sure, Pharrell has an innate sense of what to wear and how to wear it--he feels just at ease wearing a classic Chanel women's jacket as he does a tracksuit, which is was last night's sartorial choice. As his hosting duties were coming to a close, the crowd dug into a salted caramel dessert, and began to sing "Happy Birthday" as a small cake was brought out. It was a perfect cap to his 44th birthday, which was just the day before, and more so, the perfect ending of a night of many celebrations.
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