If one brand sets the tone for French-style, it’s Chanel. And each season, the front rows of its runways are populated by women who embody the elegant, Parisienne spirit of the house that Coco built. This morning’s spring/summer 2021 show was a who’s who of French cinema with icons like Marion Cotillard, Isabelle Adjani, and Vanessa Paradis filling the Grand Palais to view Virginie Viard’s latest work. Amidst all the little black jackets and monochromatic outfits, one guest brought a welcome dose of whimsy. In her petal pink boucle blazer and gold-flecked tube-top, Lily-Rose Depp was an outlier. As one of Chanel’s ambassadors, the 21-year-old actor regularly wears the double C logo, but the sorbet tones and high waisted denim she chose for today’s event were unexpected. Everything from the patchwork pockets on her jeans to her golden belly chain felt youthful and casual.
No matter what you’ve seen on Emily in Paris, French fashion isn’t a monolith. The understated ease of Caroline de Maigret and Jeanne Damas is worlds away from the inimitable polish of Catherine Deneuve or Isabelle Huppert. Depp’s colorful take reflects her Gen-Z sensibility and the idea that chic doesn’t have to be serious. While each element is perfectly coordinated—with a juicy color scheme from head to toe—the look is also unorthodox. Most would reach for a blouse instead of a bandeau top, or shy away from adding metallic sandals to an already busy outfit. Depp’s willingness to go for the bright, sparkly, and boldly-revealing made her the best-dressed person in the room and served as a thrilling example of how Paris’s twenty-somethings want to dress now.