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Algerian-French Actor and Chanel Ambassador Lyna Khoudri on Her World of Film, Fashion, and Fragrances

Actor Lyna Khoudri enters the spectacular world of Chanel fragrances at the Le Grand Numéro de Chanel exhibition, wearing exquisite creations from the Cruise 2023 Ready-to-Wear collection.

Jacket in gold and black leather embellished with a jeweled button; T-shirt and shorts in black and silver cotton with a double C motif; necklaces in metal, resin, and strass, Chanel. Makeup: N°1 De Chanel Lip & Cheek Balm Vital Beige 03; Le Baume Essentiel Sculpting; Les 4 Ombres – Ombres de lune 937; Le Stylo Yeux Waterproof 20 Espresso; Mascara Noir Allure; Le Gel Sourcils Transparent; Le Crayon à Levres 162 Nude Brun; Rouge Allure 196 A Demi-Mot. Photo: Sabine Villiard

As the curtain rises on the interactive fragrance exhibition Le Grand Numéro de Chanel in Paris, a festive, multi-sensory show comes to life. In a celebration of Chanel’s rich olfactory heritage, larger-than-life perfume bottles share space with virtual-reality enriched historic moments such as the creation of the iconic N°5, crafting a grand experience that’s as much artistic as it is olfactory. And inhabiting that spectacular, treasured world full of extraordinary creations is Lyna Khoudri.

The Algerian-French actor, who has been a Chanel ambassador since 2022, walking the Cruise 2022/23 show in Monaco in May, recently took a whimsical journey through the exhibition, wearing dazzling creations from the Chanel Cruise 2023 collections. A friend of Chanel since her participation in the Revelations in 2020 project, of which the fashion house is an official partner, Khoudri is a loyal champion of the House, regularly wearing its creations and often attending its events, including the Métiers d’Art show in Dakar in December. Here, she reflects on her glittering, vibrant world of film, fashion, and fragrances.

Dress in fantasy cotton tweed and printed lace; minaudière; sandals in ivory and black leather and grosgrain; necklaces in metal, resin, and glass; Chanel. Makeup: Les 4 Ombres – Ombres de lune 937; Stylo Ombre et Contour Electric Brown; Éclat lunaire oversize illuminating face powder – Or rose; Mascara Noir Allure; Le Gel Sourcils Transparent; Hydra Beauty Nutrition Balm; Coco Mademoiselle Pearly Body Gel; Le Vernis Top Coat – Étoilé 39. Photo: Sabine Villiard

What’s a day in the life of Lyna Khoudri like?

It depends on the day. A day of shooting varies a lot. You can be called in at 3am or 6pm; there are no real rules, it’s a roller coaster. On days when I’m not working, I like to sleep in, wake up slowly, and hang out in bed. If the weather is nice, have lunch on a terrace in Paris. If it’s bad, I like to stay under the comforter and watch a movie. During the day, there’s always a call to my mom. And then I have a WhatsApp group with my friends, and we can meet at any time, without planning anything ahead. It’s very spontaneous because we love being together.

What are the highlights of your relationship with Chanel so far?

The moment when Virginie Viard asked me to walk in a fashion show, and then the show in Monaco. I would never have thought that one day I would walk in a fashion show. It was like a little girl’s dream. An enchanted dream.

Dress in white sequined cotton, pockets embellished with a jeweled button; minaudière in transparent and multicolor beads, strass, and metal; necklaces in metal and strass; Chanel. Makeup: Les 4 Ombres – Ombres de lune 937; Éclat lunaire oversize illuminating face powder – Or rose; Mascara Noir Allure; Le Gel Sourcils Transparent; Rouge Allure Laque 88 Rose Mystère; Coco Mademoiselle Pearly Body Gel; Le Vernis Top Coat – Étoilé Makeup for all looks: Les Beiges Eau de  Medium; Le Correcteur De Chanel 21 & 31. Photo: Sabine Villiard

Chanel has a long history of creating some of the most iconic fragrances in the world. What is your favorite Chanel fragrance?

Coco Mademoiselle. When I was a child, I was not allowed to touch my mother’s N°5, she said I was not yet old enough. And one day, there was Coco Mademoiselle. “Mademoiselle” was me, it gave me a form of legitimacy, and it is the first Chanel perfume that I had and the one that I particularly like – it makes me feel good.

Fragrance is so intimate – how do you as an actor maintain your intimacy?

I try to stay close to my family. This is my bubble, where I feel safe, not judged. They make me feel good and reassure me. I also like to get away from Paris, to have little retreats and to switch off my phone. It does me a lot of good to take a step back.

Cardigan in black and white cashmere embellished with jeweled buttons; swimsuit in black jersey embellished with jeweled buttons and stress; Chanel. Makeup: N°1 De Chanel Lip & Cheek Balm Vital Beige 03; Le Stylo Yeux Waterproof 88 noir intense; Le Stylo Ombre et Contour Electric Brown; Le Duo Lumière Gel Gloss; Mascara Noir Allure; Le Gel Sourcils Transparent; Rouge Allure l’Extrait Rose Invincible; Le Vernis Top Coat – Étoilé. Photo: Sabine Villiard

You have chosen roles that explore different Algerian stories – and roles written and directed by Algerian women. Most recently the film Houria by Mounia Meddour. Can you tell us about your own personal experience with Algeria and how these characters have empowered you?

I have the chance to act in several languages and the chance to have made several films in Algeria, which fills me with joy. Acting in Arabic is different from French, in the energy, the relationship to the body – for example in Arabic my characters have lower voices, it is more in the belly, my hands accompany more what I say… These are details that I notice over time. Besides, I like to participate in a new generation of Algerian cinema, with powerful filmmakers and a strong message.

Who is the director you love the most?

I have a great passion for Cassavetes. He based a lot of his work on the actor, and takes his actors to rare places. It’s a great inspiration.

How would you describe your personal style?

I would say simple and minimalist. But I also sometimes like strong, colorful pieces that I can mix with basics.

Dress in beige crêpe embroidered with flowers and beads; sandals in ivory and black leather and grosgrain; Chanel. Makeup: Les beiges poudre belle mine 50; N°1 De Chanel Lip & Cheek Balm Vital Beige 03; Le Stylo Yeux Waterproof 88 noir intense; Le Stylo Ombre et Contour Electric Brown; Le Duo Lumière Gel Gloss; Mascara Noir Allure; Le Gel Sourcils Transparent; Rouge Allure l’Extrait Rose Invincible; Coco Mademoiselle Pearly Body Gel; Le Vernis Top Coat – Étoilé. Photo: Sabine Villiard

Originally published in the January 2023 issue of Vogue Arabia

Makeup for all looks: Les Beiges Eau de Teint Medium; Le Correcteur De Chanel 21 & 31

Makeup: Elsa Durrens at WSM 
Style: Elena Psalti 
Hair: Jean-Luc Amarin at WSM 
Producer: Danica Zivkovic
On-set producer: Cenk Cikla 
Photography assistants: Hélène Bozzi, Nina Charlotte Linneman 

Read Next: Here’s How Lily-Rose Depp Embraced Beachy Style at Chanel’s Miami Show

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