Chanel and the icon girls

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  2. Vanessa Paradis
  3. With her insouciant style and devil-may-care way, Vanessa Paradis has every right to feel comfortable in her own skin. Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld says, “I instantly fell in love with the personality of this woman who’d started so young. From her very first appearance she had a character quite unlike anybody else. She has a unique face, the look of a girl, and she’s even more beautiful today than ten years ago.” This season, the singer, model, actress and mother of two takes a bold turn as the face of Chanel's new Girl handbag: wearing nothing but a string of pearls and the signature tote, Paradis says: “I like the fact that it blends in with clothes or against the skin with infinite gentleness.”

Catherine Deneuve

  1. As icons go, Catherine Deneuve is the very definition: celebrated as the face of Chanel No. 5 in the 70s, the French actress made a name for herself with provocative roles in films such as Belle de Jour, in which she morphed from dutiful wife to (ultra-chic) part-time prostitute, and Repulsion where she played the captivating murderess. Today, the charms of this enigmatic leading lady – with her cool beauty and composed elegance – prove as inspiring as ever. 
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  2. Alice Dellal
  3. “Alice has style in the extreme. She’s a stylish punk,” notes Lagerfeld of the London-based drummer, model and elegant rebel. Indeed, the fierce beauty channels a masculine/feminine look all her own. Dellal says, “Before I was introduced to Chanel's Boy bag collection in 2012, I was not a bag enthusiast. [Now, it is] a permanent fixture in my wardrobe, and it’s the only bag I've felt comfortable wearing with my casual clothes.” Here, Dellal wears a suede shirt and the Boy handbag in denim patchwork.

Gabrielle Chanel

  1. By all accounts, the inimitable Mademoiselle Chanel was an elegant forward thinker and a pragmatist. The designer had an extraordinary talent for zeroing in on novel sartorial solutions for daily life: be it the freedom of a military strap bag or the simple addition of pockets. And so in 1955 (the date of the house's 2.55 bag), the designer imagined a bag of classic beauty that could be carried effortlessly on the shoulder, its quilting was inspired by the equestrian world she loved so much. Here, Chanel and her timeless accessory, photographed by Mike de Dulmen.

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  2. Kristen Stewart:
  3. “It always felt like a privilege to wear Chanel and to be around Karl [Lagerfeld] who is an artist that, for me, constantly inspires,” said Kristen Stewart during her first encounter with fashion’s inimitable master. Two years later, the magic continues: in this latest campaign, the charcoal-eyed actress wears a silk crepe suit and the new 11.12 handbag with the house’s signature herringbone quilting, a stitching design conceived in the 1960s by Mademoiselle Chanel. 

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  2. Brigitte Bardot
  3. Naughty or nice — those dualling traits defined Brigitte Bardot's appeal, having first come to light in the actress's breakout role, And God Created Woman. From there, the French femme fatale, came to be known as one of the most captivating sex symbols of the 60s. Here, the actress poses during a visit to London in 1963, photographed by Henri Sureau.