On Wednesday night, high above the crashing waves of Miami’s South Beach, Art Basel spectators and enthusiasts might have noticed something even more gobsmacking than the red-hot sales. Floating, almost as if it were a mirage, was a woman’s face, familiar and seemingly composed out of stars. Spectators strewn across the beach scrambled to find their iPhones to capture the moment.
“Wait, what? How did they do that?” asked an interior designer, standing in awe as the likeness slowly morphed into a perfume bottle. Thanks to more than 500 drones and some gravity-defying aerial artistry, the spectacle’s message was clear as the perfume bottle morphed into the classic double-C insignia: Chanel had arrived in Miami.
The 111-year-old French fashion house may have begun its Basel takeover with a light show and cocktail party to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the iconic Chanel No. 5 perfume and its creator, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, but it upped the ante the following evening by inviting actors, socialites, models, collectors, artists, and big spenders to its new Miami Design District boutique-opening with architect Peter Marino on hand to greet the guests. Pharrell Williams and his family did a sweep, while Licorice Pizza star Alana Haim held court with her sisters and bandmates, Este and Danielle. Passed appetizers and a sit-down dinner at ZZ’s Club joined teen soap stars from all channels and streaming platforms in the name of haute couture. Gossip Girl’s Evan Mock mingled with Riverdale star Camila Mendes and 13 Reasons Why’s Alisha Boe. Halston breakout Rebecca Dayan and Flag Day actor Dylan Penn were on hand, as the crowd compared their suntans and chatted about NFTs, tequila preferences, and holiday plans.