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Chanel pays tribute to late muse Gaspard Ulliel as bride carries black flowers at PFW show


Chanel paid a moving tribute to late muse Gaspard Ulliel at its Spring Summer 2022 show during Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday – six days after the actor’s tragic death.

French actor Gaspard, who was the face of Bleu de Chanel, died aged 37 after suffering a catastrophic head injury in a skiing accident in the Alps last week.

The latest Chanel spectacular ended, as is tradition, with a model dressed as a bride, with the beauty holding a small bouquet of black flowers in honour of Gaspard.

Black flowers@ Chanel paid a moving tribute to late muse Gaspard Ulliel at its Spring Summer 2022 show during Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday - six days after the actor's tragic death

Black [email protected] Chanel paid a moving tribute to late muse Gaspard Ulliel at its Spring Summer 2022 show during Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday – six days after the actor’s tragic death

Gaspard’s association with Chanel began in 2007 and he even played Yves Saint Laurent in a 2014 biopic.  

Tuesday’s show opened with Chanel ambassador and showjumper, Charlotte Casiraghi cantering down the catwalk on a horse while resplendent in a Chanel riding jacket in black tweed and sequins. 

Anna Wintour was among those with a VIP seat, sitting just feet from the the brand’s four-legged model, but the A-list were missing from the audience and the catwalk. 

Margot Robbie, Vanessa Paradis and Pharrell Williams were among the few stars spotted making their fashionable arrivals at the Grand Palais, which was transformed into a surreal showjumping course.

Tragic loss:  French actor Gaspard, who was the face of Bleu de Chanel, died aged 37 after suffering a catastrophic head injury in a skiing accident in the Alps last week (pictured 2015)

Tragic loss:  French actor Gaspard, who was the face of Bleu de Chanel, died aged 37 after suffering a catastrophic head injury in a skiing accident in the Alps last week (pictured 2015)

The temporary exhibition building in the Grand Palais was transformed by artist Xavier Veilhan for the show, with huge wooden geometric shape installations forming an equestrian course.

The idea for the show’s décor came from a longstanding desire of creative director Virginie Viard to work with artist and filmmaker Xavier Veilhan.

The moving tribute comes after investigators revealed last week that Gaspard suffered such a severe blow to the head when he crashed while skiing that he would probably still have died even if he wore a helmet.

Ulliel crashed into a second skier, a Lithuanian national in his early forties, who gave witness testimony to Savoie investigators two days after the incident on January 18.

The collision would have unbalanced the actor, but was likely not particularly violent, investigators heard in an interview that lasted over an hour, according to Le Parisien.

Homage: The latest Chanel spectacular ended, as is tradition, with a model dressed as a bride, with the beauty holding a small bouquet of black flowers in honour of Gaspard

Homage: The latest Chanel spectacular ended, as is tradition, with a model dressed as a bride, with the beauty holding a small bouquet of black flowers in honour of Gaspard

Ulliel likely then hit the ground at full-speed, causing his fatal head injury.   

The impact against the ground would likely have been fatal with or without a helmet, said an expert, who compared the accident to riding a bicycle into a wall at 40 kilometres-per-hour.

Ulliel suffered significant head trauma and was immediately transported via helicopter to a hospital in Grenoble where he died the day after on Wednesday as a result of his injuries. 

Michael Schumacher was treated in the same clinic when he suffered his ski crash head injury, according to Bild.

The second skier in the crash did not suffer any major injuries and was wearing a helmet at the time.

Mountain investigators said the weather conditions were good at the time of the incident. 

‘Conditions were good, and not dangerous. There were other adults not wearing helmets on the piste,’ a witness to the tragedy told investigators.

Albertville prosecutor Anne Gaches said Mr Ulliel died at 4pm on Wednesday, after attempts were made to save him in the University Hospital in Grenoble failed.

Chanel muse: The French actor is the face of Chanel's male perfume Bleu de Chanel - starting his partnership with the fashion house in 2007 (pictured)

Chanel muse: The French actor is the face of Chanel’s male perfume Bleu de Chanel – starting his partnership with the fashion house in 2007 (pictured)

Ms Gaches said in a statement: ‘Yesterday, January 18, 2022, at 4 p.m., in Montvalezan, on the ski area of ​​the resort of La Rosière located in the Haute Tarentaise Massif, Mr. Gaspard Ulliel collided with another skier on the top of the blue run called Tetras.

‘He had just branched off to the left, presumably to join his friends who were on the Gellinotte run.

‘A judicial investigation was immediately entrusted to investigators from the CRS (Republican Security Company), Albertville detachment, by the Albertville prosecution.  

‘It appears from the first testimonies and the observations made on the spot that the two skiers both fell to the ground,’ Mr Gaches continued. 

Runway show: Chanel's Paris Fashion Week shows are legendary for their elaborate set pieces, and on Tuesday the brand sent a real-life horse down the runway

Runway show: Chanel’s Paris Fashion Week shows are legendary for their elaborate set pieces, and on Tuesday the brand sent a real-life horse down the runway

‘When help arrived, Mr. Gaspard Ulliel was motionless, unconscious in the snow. The other skier was unharmed.

‘Transported by helicopter to the University Hospital of Grenoble, the death of Mr. Gaspard Ulliel was declared this day shortly after 4pm by the doctor of the intensive care unit of this hospital.’

His family confirmed the death in a statement given to AFP by his agent, with the authorities launching an investigation soon after.

Ulliel won a Cesar – the French equivalent of an Oscar – for best actor in 2017 for It’s Only the End of the World in which he starred alongside Marion Cotillard and Lea Seydoux.

He had already taken home a Cesar in 2004 for most promising actor after appearing in the World War I drama A Very Long Engagement alongside Audrey Tautou.   

Ulliel, who shares a five-year-old son with model-singer Gaëlle Piétri, played Yves Saint Laurent in a 2014 biopic.  

Tributes poured in from shocked fans, politicians and celebrities around the world.   

French Prime Minister Jean Castex tweeted an homage that said, ‘Gaspard Ulliel grew up with cinema and cinema grew up with him. They loved each other madly.’

Cannes film festival director Thierry Fremaux said: ‘Gaspard belonged to this new generation of actors who were making tomorrow’s French cinema,.

‘He was equally brilliant and talented. He gave a lot and we’ll always remember him.’ 

A Disney spokesman also told Variety: ‘We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of our friend and colleague Gaspard Ulliel. 

‘Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this time.’

RIP: Tributes were paid to Gaspard who stars in the upcoming Marvel series Moon Knight  (pictured on a previous skiing holiday)

RIP: Tributes were paid to Gaspard who stars in the upcoming Marvel series Moon Knight  (pictured on a previous skiing holiday)

France’s culture minister Roselyne Bachelot added: ‘Such a brilliant actor who was reaped by the sickle of death at the peak of his career.

‘For almost 20 years, he was present in our lives with magnificent performances.’   

Pierre Niney, who also played Yves Saint Laurent in a rival film which won a Cesar award, said he was ‘heartbroken’.

He added: ‘Gaspart was benevolence and kindness. Beauty and talent.’

Ulliel was born just outside Paris on November 25, 1984, to a producer father and stylist mother and picked up a small scar from a dog bite as a child.

He said it helped him because it looked like a dimple. 

He was just 11 when he started working on screen after a friend of his mother suggested he join her acting agency. 

His first major role came in 2002 when he starred alongside Charlotte Rampling in Summer Things, for which he won Most Promising Actor at the Lumieres Awards and was nominated for a Cesar.

Actor: The star gained international attention for his portrayal of a young Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal Rising (pictured with Rhys Ifans)

Actor: The star gained international attention for his portrayal of a young Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal Rising (pictured with Rhys Ifans)

One of his directors described him as something of an enigma.

‘He’s a strange boy, difficult to penetrate,’ said Rodolphe Marconi, who directed him in one of his early films, The Last Day.

The accident conjured up memories of when Formula One great Michael Schumacher hit his head in a ski accident in 2013 in the French ski resort of Meribel, about 30 miles from where Ulliel was skiing. 

Both were treated at Grenoble University Hospital.

The first trailer for the upcoming TV series Moon Knight was only released on Tuesday, starring Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke.

The show will debut on the Disney Plus streaming service on March 30. 

Ulliel plays the role of Anton Mogart, also known as Midnight Man, in the anticipated Marvel show, based on the comic character created by writer Doug Moench and artist Don Perlin in 1975.

Couple: Ulliel shares a five-year-old son with model-singer Gaëlle Piétri (pictured together in 2015)

Couple: Ulliel shares a five-year-old son with model-singer Gaëlle Piétri (pictured together in 2015)

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