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Chanel Takes Over Karl Lagerfeld’s Former Villa
Guest of honor Charlotte Casiraghi recalled many fond memories of the house in Monaco, where she held her wedding reception in 2019.
BY JOELLE DIDERICH PHOTOGRAPHS BY STÉPHANE FEUGÈRE
If walls could talk, then La Vigie, the white villa perched on a hilltop overlooking Monte-Carlo, could certainly tell a few tales.
On Thursday night, guests including Kristen Stewart, Sofia Coppola, G-Dragon, Vanessa Paradis and Lyna Khoudri gathered at the romantic venue for a dinner to celebrate the Chanel cruise collection, unveiled earlier in the day at the neighboring Monte-Carlo Beach hotel. Princess Caroline of Monaco and her daughter Charlotte Casiraghi were the evening’s guests of honor.
The French fashion house’s creative director, Virginie Viard, recalled attending photo shoots at the villa with her predecessor Karl Lagerfeld, who rented it for more than a decade. La Vigie has also been the backdrop for key moments in the personal history of Monaco’s ruling family.
“Charlotte celebrated her 18th birthday at La Vigie, she held her wedding reception at La Vigie,” said Viard, who brought Casiraghi on board as a Chanel brand ambassador last year. “The day after her wedding, I called her and said, ‘When are you available?’”
Casiraghi’s first campaign for the house was shot partly at the neo-classical villa, built in 1902. In a speech before dinner, she recalled another memory linked to the house.
“I remember, when I was six or seven years old, coming here to join my mother after a day spent at the [Monte-Carlo] Beach with my brothers. There was a photo studio set up on the terrace and my mother was dressed in a sumptuous midnight blue ballgown embroidered with sequined stars, and Karl was taking her picture. I remember being literally dazzled by her beauty and by the magical and joyful atmosphere that reigned in this house,” she said.
“Obviously, I miss Karl’s presence a lot, but he couldn’t stand nostalgia, or being emotional, let alone talking about him in the past tense. But without this rare complicity between my mother and Karl, without this bond of affection which lasted for more than 40 years, we would not be here this evening,” Casiraghi added.
Stewart, wearing a white swimsuit with a long sheer mesh skirt, arrived with her fiancée Dylan
Meyer. At the show earlier that day, the actress said she would be back soon for the Cannes Film Festival, where she will appear in David Cronenberg’s “Crimes of the Future.” In the trailer for the horror film, set in a dystopian future, Stewart’s character says: “Surgery is the new sex.”
“We are all becoming so obsessed with technology, and so sort of entwined with it, that the body is becoming obsolete. And in the film, people have evolved away from pain, and so the only way to really touch each other is to sort of open each other up in a gruesome way,” she explained.
“It feels like David’s saying something really intimate and personal about what it takes to make art, and how much it hurts and what it takes from you, and how much you have to sort of refill that void,” Stewart continued. “It is confronting, but to me, it’s not scary. I find it really sweet.”
Coppola, meanwhile, said she has put on hold plans to adapt
Edith Wharton’s “The Custom of the Country” for Apple. “I’m just writing and looking forward to hopefully making something soon,” she said, adding she was excited to see the room she curated for the “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute.
G-Dragon was showing off his latest accessory, a pink jeweled tooth grill in the shape of a double-C logo. “My tooth? I’m healthy. You can tell, I have no problems,” he joked.
It was the K-pop star’s first time visiting Monaco. “Today’s a little bit gloomy, but yesterday, I felt like I’m in heaven,” he said. “I was staying right there,” he continued, pointing his finger at the Hotel Maybourne, high up on a hill. “It’s like sleeping in the sky.”
After dinner, guests flocked to a room with views of the bay, where Nile Rodgers and Chic performed a set including hits “I’m Coming Out,” “Le Freak” and “Good Times.”
As he introduced “Get Lucky,” the song he cowrote with Pharrell Williams and Daft Punk, Rodgers exclaimed: “I feel like the luckiest man in the world to be here with you tonight, in a house that I partied in so much back in the day — and now we’re here partying again tonight.”