The Chanel Cruise presentation is usually a destination extravaganza, and while we weren’t able to travel this year, Virginie Viard still served up a slice of escapism. First, she transported us to Gabrielle Chanel’s newly-restored apartment at 31 rue Cambon, where Lola Nicon was filmed by Inez & Vinoodh for a preview of the collection—her presence lending a punk-rock attitude to the ornate space. That nonchalance carried over to the show itself, which took place at a cinematic, expansive quarry in Provence.
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The South of France inspiration translated into clothes that were all about lightness, ease, and the feeling of sun on skin. What they certainly weren’t was bohemian. The collection was graphic in both silhouette and palette—lean, sharp lines in striking monochrome that stood out brilliantly against the serene, sandy tones of the location. While Chanel has always traded in chic, here it was a softer, more youthful kind of chic. Tweed suits came with sleeves cut off, skirts shirred, and worn over printed t-shirts. Black fishnets worn with low white boots or metallic Mary Janes further amplified the punk and Mod undercurrents, as did the fringed leathers, face jewellery, and holster bags strapped to the thighs.
Elsewhere, the romantic was countered by the dynamic—coloured feathers worn with a lean black tank; a black lace bandeau under a mannish tweed jacket; billowing pieces mixed with body-conscious ones and grounded on pointy, glossy boots. Models had hibiscus blossoms in their hands, and barrettes in their hair. To finish off, Viard sent out a series of velvet LBDs and black macrame capes that encapsulated the kind of high-impact, but effortless glamour that she has perfected at Chanel.