For fashion enthusiasts in all places, Gabrielle Chanel is Paris personified, but her care for of Venice also ran deep. La Serenissima was where, in her thirties, the couturière took a prolonged sabbatical as she mourned the care for of her existence, Boy Capel. The inspirations she gleaned from the city’s labyrinthine layout and its hallmarks —gondolier stripes, the emblematic lion, Byzantine mosaics, and Pala d’Oro, the jeweled altarpiece at Saint Mark’s Basilica—inform the Chanel allure to this day.

However she also embraced Venice for its social swirl. A favorite among excessive society, artists, actors, and other creatives, Harry’s Bar—a miniature watering hole with an outsized reputation—has been a scene for nearly a century now, but never more so than at some stage in the Venice International Film Festival.

On Monday evening, an intimate but boisterous dinner hosted by Chanel at that celebrated haunt drew a constellation of stars, from icons fancy Tilda Swinton, Penelope Cruz, and Anna Mouglalis to a unusual generation of rising talents, including Sadie Sink, Italian actress Fotinì Peluso and the Swiss artist, author, and actress Kayije Kagame, one of the breakout stars of this year’s edition.

“My heart is beating so fast I can hardly web the words out,” said Kagame, who rose that morning at 4 am for a sequence of firsts—a first commute to Venice, first film festival, and the première of her first feature, Saint-Omer by director Alice Diop, which is in rivals for the Golden Lion. “Here I am, and the magic is taking sustain even beyond that,” she marveled as she recounted meeting a fellow guest, the author, and director Rahmatou Keita, who knew her mother back in Nigeria.

Sink summed up her whirlwind search the advice of with in two words: “graceful surreal.” “It’s fancy coming into into a storybook illustration. There’s something magic in the air, so Venice and Chanel complement each other wisely that way.” The Stranger Issues actress, who’s in city for the première of The Whale by Darren Aronofsky, said she was having fun “punking up” her looks, tonight accessorizing her cotton tweed dress from the Spring-Summer season 2023 pre-sequence with a trio of Coco Crush ear cuffs. “I maintain checking my ears,” she said. “It’s valuable cargo.”

At appropriate 23, Peluso already is no stranger to the festival, but she confessed to being starstruck at her first Chanel dinner in Venice.