Chanel’s chance

Coco's love for her man







For Coco Chanel, horses always played a significant role – from the race tracks in Deauville and Paris, to Le Cadre Noir in Saumur where the black silhouettes of the riders helped define her signature style.


In Chanel’s latest campaign – which was photographed by Karl Lagerfeld – a bag is the center of attention – along with horses and model, Alice Dellal – a half Brazilian, half British musician who used to ride horses in her childhood.

The location was Fontaine-Chaalis at the Ferme de la Chapelle.

”It was fifty miles outside Paris and in a place where they keep horses for movies. Because when we put people like Alice on horses, there can be no danger. With horses, you can never be too careful. They have to be quiet and well-behaved,” Karl Lagerfeld told French Glamour.

“The inspiration is Chanel in her early years. She was a friend of a man called Etienne Balsan and living in his place where he was breeding horses. It was all about horses and riding and she became a very good horsewoman. Using this idea, I decided that Alice was perfect for defining a modern version of that. ‘Modern’ because things are different today.”

”The House of Chanel is about the modern woman of today. It’s not a revival of somebody who lived nearly a hundred years ago,” said Lagerfeld who named the bag after Arthur Edward ”Boy” Chapel – an English polo player and Coco Chanel’s lover both during – and after – her relation with Etienne Balsan.


“With horses, you can never be too careful. They have to be quiet and well-behaved,” says Karl Lagerfeld.


With her South American roots, Alice Dellal turned out to be the perfect choice for the campaign, Lagerfeld explained.

”I like Brazilian and Argentinean people but I don’t know why. The South American women are beyond chic. They are great. They have a very special elegance that is never boring. I don’t know what it was or is but it is very present.

You cannot work with people who you have nothing to say to and who you do not like. It’s too unpleasant and awful. Alice doesn’t need to analyse manners because that’s the way she is. Alice cannot imagine being different.”

I think she is ‘attachant’ to use a French expression. It’s not touching which sounds patronizing. I just feel immediate warmth and fondness for Alice and I am not indifferent to the fact that she has something that few others don’t have. But really, I don’t really like analyzing my emotions. Such things should be left untouched and not formulated into written words.”


A Lusitanian also modelled for Chanel...