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Camila Mendes, Selma Blair, and More Share Chanel Memories and Celebrate the Brand’s Fashion Legacy

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From its indelible founder, Coco Chanel, to its long-time creative director, Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel has a fashion legacy like no other. Just ask Saturday Night Live comedian Chloe Fineman, who referenced an iconic Lagerfeld-ism when asked about her favorite memory of the fashion house.

“It’s a Karl memory, which is my favorite quote, and one I have to tell myself [at] work a lot, which is, ‘Sweatpants are a sign of defeat.’ You lost control of your life, and so you bought some sweatpants,” she joked. “Any time I’m tired at SNL, I try and put on a silk pajama bottom instead.”

Fineman was among the dozens of A-listers honoring Chanel’s legacy on Monday, June 10, at New York City’s The Odeon restaurant, where the French fashion house celebrated its annual Tribeca Festival Arts Dinner. It was the 19th consecutive event of its kind, which every year spotlights artists and filmmakers from the festival. In attendance were Katie Holmes, Blake Lively, Camila Mendes, Lucy Hale, Colman Domingo, Francesca Scorsesce, Hari Nef, and Natasha Lyonne, just to name a few—all dressed in Chanel, of course.

“This is the first time I’m ever wearing Chanel,” Hale admitted at dinner. ”I mean, I own Chanel items but as far as the full getup, this is the first time. Chanel, to me, is timeless—it’s classic and never goes out of style. You feel like the ultimate lady.” 

Mendes, for her part, recalled a heartfelt fashion moment when asked about her favorite Chanel memory. “My high school graduation gift was a Chanel bag that my dad got me. It was like metallic copper. It was very bold,” Mendes said, describing the brand’s timeless style. “It’s that classic French, chic effortlessness where you have a smudgy red lip and not really a lot of face makeup, and the hair is done, but it’s wispy—there’s some pieces falling out. There’s always kind of some doing and undoing that I think is very Chanel.”

For Selma Blair, there’s one Lagerfeld motto she swears by: “’Always look to the future. Always. The past doesn’t matter.’ And I thought, ‘But how can you? It’s so scary.’ But you have to create it. You have to create the future. It’ll keep moving on, so better be a part of it.”

Inside the venue, guests mixed and mingled over martinis, wine, and a decadent dinner menu featuring shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad, and entree options of burgers, steak frites, and chicken, plus ice cream sundaes for dessert. Jane Rosenthal, the CEO and co-founder of Tribeca Enterprises, underscored the importance of the festival’s partnership with Chanel. “The more we can make an investment in art and culture, the more unified our world will be,” Rosenthal said, adding that she hopes to continue uplifting the voices of women artists and diverse storytellers.

Just a few days before, on Friday, June 7, Chanel and Tribeca Film Festival gathered another group of famous faces, including Kerry Washington, Christy Turlington, and Joey King, to raise a glass to the 10-year anniversary of Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program, which provides resources for rising female and non-binary filmmakers and artists.

There, Washington caught up with InStyle and took the event’s women-supporting-women ethos to heart on the red carpet, stopping to share her love and admiration for Tony-nominated actress Kara Young. “I love this woman. She’s amazing. She’s brilliant. It’s an honor to be a producer on her Tony-nominated, historic performance. She’s a star. You need to get on board,” Washington said of Young’s performance as Lutiebell Gussie Mae Jenkins in Purlie Victorious.

Bringing women together? Dressed in Chanel? We love to see it. Below are more highlights from Chanel’s Tribeca luncheon and dinner.

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