Chanel isn’t exactly a tough brand. No matter how many It Girls they hire as ambassadors, haute couture sneakers they produce, or how many fanny packs they put on Rihanna, Chanel will never fully manage to disassociate its brand name from the image of buttoned-up grandmothers and mothers-in-law wearing matchy tweed suits in tasteful pastels at the country club. Nor should they; those ladies are good customers. But Chanel is fighting the good fight against the fusty associations of even its most classic products–flap bags and camellia brooches–and nobody can edge up an accessory like Kristen Stewart.
With her choppy, asymmetrical haircut and haunting, deep-set eyes, the Twilight actress makes the 11.12 bag she is wearing in Chanel’s new handbag ad look as tough as a set of brass knuckles. (Chanel’s brass knuckles will cost $8,000.)
The 11.12 bag is made of lambskin quilted in a herringbone pattern, and Stewart does an excellent job of demonstrating that it can work on the shoulder of a young, cool woman. One should not be surprised by the achievement, however, because this is basically Stewart’s greatest talent. She has the hair, the eyes, and the posture to make even the most prim and preppy fashions look like the clothes of a rock star. At Chanel’s last show, Stewart managed to look like a total badass wearing what was basically a tennis dress. At this point, I’m pretty sure Kristen Stewart could wear the Crown Jewels and Kate Middleton‘s wedding dress and still look like she was on the cover of a Runaways album.