Models paraded in and out of the giant “Chanel” lettering, transposed from the hills of Los Angeles to the interior of Paris’ Grand Palais exhibition hall, as guests perched on stools at the socially-distanced show.
Fashion labels are only just returning to the catwalk, after shows were cancelled over the summer due to the coronavirus pandemic, and in Paris only the major luxury brands pressed ahead with physical events.
For this collection, Chanel showcased inspiration drawn from Hollywood’s 1950s heyday – with a French touch.
A short film released before the show paid tribute to actresses such as Jeanne Moreau and Romy Schneider who caught the eye of American directors but also starred in French classics at the time.
â€śI was thinking about actresses at the photocall, on the red carpet, that moment when theyâ€™re being called to by the photographers: their faces a little distracted, their attitude a little out of sync with the outfits theyâ€™re wearing. And then there are the fans waiting for them behind the barriers, this very lively side to cinema that happens beyond cinema, thatâ€™s what I like,â€ť explains designer Virginie Viard,
â€śThis collection is a tribute to the muses of the House. Some of them are far away, itâ€™s been a long time since we saw them. Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld dressed so many actresses in films and in real life. I was thinking about them who make us dream so much. But without wanting to replicate. Without falling into a vintage citation. I wanted it to be very joyful, colourful, and very vibrant too.â€ť
So, alongside the ecru and black tweed suits, are jeans in fluorescent colours, fluid dresses and t-shirts printed with the letters ofÂ CHANELÂ like neon-lights, pale pink capri pants, long dresses printed with little flowers in black and white, or in an ultra-fine tweed, outfits embroidered with sequins, bermuda short suits and layers of asymmetryâ€¦
The silhouettes, staged in the collection press kit by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, are embodied by Rianne Van Rompaey, Mica ArganĂžaraz and Louise de Chevigny, each one of them in four recurring cinematic situations: on the telephone, looking out of the window, sitting on a bed or walking down the street, just like scenes from a film. An evocation of the Nouvelle Vague, of Italian cinema and of Hollywood. â€śBecause the world ofÂ ChanelÂ evokes so many images, a whole unconscious thatâ€™s linked to cinema,â€ť concludes Virginie Viard