During Hollywood’s Golden Age, Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer boasted it had “more stars than there are in heaven.” Old Louis B. would have a hard time recognizing his stomping grounds today, not to say the entertainment firmament writ large.
Where you can be certain to find a megawatt constellation of stars in 2023 is front row at a fashion show. A Chanel extravaganza, to be exact. There they all were—Margot Robbie, Kristen Stewart, T&C cover star Chloë Sevigny—on the Paramount lot to take in a cruise collection that featured one star of its own, an icon of the house that debuted in 1955.
It was then that Coco herself, in pursuit of more practical accessories, introduced the 2.55 handbag in lambskin and diamond-patterned quilting, earning the appreciation of influencers of the ’50s and ’60s including Catherine Deneuve and Brigitte Bardot.
Karl Lagerfeld reinvented it in the ’80s as the 11.12, which remains the beau ideal. For the L.A. show, artistic director Virginie Viard did her own reboot, including a Tinseltown-ready velvet sparkler that seemed to walk the runway with its very own lighting director, luminous in the dark like a latter-day Greta Garbo.
“I’ve been memorizing this room,” the immortal Swede says in Queen Christina of the suite where she spent a night of passion with John Gilbert. Well, it wasn’t the set the audience at Chanel memorized. It was the glittering showstopper they’d be ordering the next day, likely at the brand’s new 30,000-square-foot boutique on Rodeo Drive. Now that’s showbiz, kids.
Photographs By David Schulze, styling by Chelsea Maruskin.
This story appears in the October 2023 issue of Town & Country under the headline “Anatomy of a Classic.” SUBSCRIBE NOW