Q: What is it like to be the face of Chanel?
Chanel was a great discovery. I didn’t know anything about luxury or fashion and when I met Karl Lagerfeld, it became very precious to me. Fashion is full of surprises. I thought it would be full of the most superficial people and then I met Karl, who is the most cultivated man I have ever known, with such a large collection of books and music—it’s amazing. Each time we get to work together for a shooting, or if we go out to dinner or watch a show, he’s always very generous. We might talk about Nabokov for five minutes and the following day, I’ll receive a rare copy of one of his books that he found for me. He’s exceptional and makes life really enjoyable.
Q: Do you believe in role models in regards to fashion and style?
I believe that, in order for someone to be one, they would have to have achieved what both Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld have said, that fashion has to arrive to the streets. When a style changes the style on the street, then it’s fashion. In a way, I consider Patti Smith to be an icon of style. Karl is definitely one, also. He has his own style and now young singers are copying him.
Q: Are there any style statements you disagree with?
I love to wear a dress and not be worn by a dress. Also, I hate fashion that uses women as sexual objects; that’s another reason why I love working with Chanel, because they don’t do that.
Q: Which city has the best-dressed women?
Q: What are the rules, if any, in the way you dress?
I love to wear beautiful things that look thrown together. I like to forget what I’m wearing. The only thing I look for is freedom.
Q: Are you rebellious with your style?
I’m not a punk, nor rock ‘n’ roll. But Karl is a punk.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Marguerite Duras, in her short and generous book titled “La Vie Matérielle,” writes about what she does every day; at one point she says that she should trust herself as she would trust someone else: “Il faut se faire confiance comment vous faites bien confiance aux autres.” I like that quote because it’s beautiful, but also because she speaks of tolerance and understanding.