Gabrielle Chanel was inspired. Determined. Courageous. A leader. She was passionate and fearless; a free spirit with a rebellious heart who was unapologetically feminine. She was Gabrielle before she was Coco. She was iconic.
These were personal traits I kept in mind when we shot this story in Paris to celebrate the new Gabrielle fragrance by Chanel. I wanted to embody her spirit; playful with a carefree ease. I wanted to embody the fragrance; feminine with a unique lightness. The idea was to feel as if a much younger Gabrielle had stuck these photos in her diary with some tape she found lying around the house, lost amongst a pile of sketches on the floor of her Parisian apartment, placing them in an imperfect way that felt uniquely perfect to her. It’s about those fleeting moments of youth, where we look back and feel nostalgic about living in the moment when our lives seemed far less complicated. Those cherished memories of summer scents lingering in the air, waking up late to the heat of the sun and realising you have no plans at all, only to see where the day will take you and letting fate be your guiding force.
It’s this collection of experiences that inevitably shape who you are today, simple or grand, every single one of them, one way or another. Eventually, there will come a time in your life when you realise you are decidedly in control of your fate – you can wake up and choose to be whoever you want to be and spend every moment fighting for her. She is the best version of yourself, and in many ways, she is Gabrielle; the silent strength within all of us.
This is what I learnt from Gabrielle, and I hope she has inspired you to be fearless too.
Photographer: Steffania Paparelli
Hair: David Mallett & Mathieu Guignaudeau
Makeup: Victoria Baron for CHANEL
Nails: Jocelyn Petroni for CHANEL
Stylist: Emma Kalfus
Assistant: Nichhia Wippell
Producer: Chloe Brinklow
Words by Nicole Warne