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A dour Paris Fashion Week was brightened by a flying visit from Little Miss Sunshine, aka Blake Lively. The Gossip Girl actress, ambassador for Chanel’s new Mademoiselle bag and star of a new ad campaign, popped into town for a lavish VIP dinner in her honor, hosted by Karl Lagerfeld, at Chanel’s Rue Cambon couture atelier.
This story first appeared in the March 21, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The 80 guests included top editors and models and a clutch of actresses, and a surprise performance by Florence Welch (of Florence and the Machine), whose angelic voice soared over a harp accompaniment as Lively snapped photos with her smartphone. During her brief stay in Paris, Lively also made a beeline for pastry palace Ladurée for a box of macaroons, gobbled up a molten chocolate cake for lunch and popped in on the atelier of shoe guru Christian Louboutin. Is all this exposure to French refinement spoiling the 23-year- old? “It’s definitely a good way to live,” she pointed out. “I feel like I should only live a few weeks if every day was like today because it’s just too much happiness—I might combust.” At least Lively is resisting the design bug infecting other young actresses, expressing zero ambition to mount her own fashion venture. “I’ve been asked about that,” she said, “but I have such a respect for fashion and such an appreciation for it that, if there are people like Karl Lagerfeld out there designing, who am I?”