INSIDE the Parisian club Castel, where the saying “dress to impress” is mandatory for entry, Virginie Viard takes us dancing for Chanel’s autumn-winter 2021 collection. Rewinding back not only to a time where spending our nights twirling on the dance floor was a weekly occasion but to an era where fashion shows saw the models would dress themselves and do their own make-up.
Tales from the late Karl Lagerfeld were ringing in the ears of Viard as she decided to swap the Grand Palais for a more intimate setting to present the new Chanel collection.
Going down the rabbit hole of exploring contrasts; volumes, materials and spirit were the three main themes the French designer played with. Long tweed coats with chevron revealing bare legs and finished with a pair of faux fur boots lets the Chanel woman have it all this winter.
Salopette like ski suits, white coats in patent sheepskin and black tweed suits combine to create a collection designed to be worn in the chalets of the French Alps next ski season. “This collection is a mix of two influences: the ambiance of ski holidays, which I adore, and a certain idea of cool Parisian chic, from the 1970s to now” explains Viard. Balancing the two opposing notions, she brings the decadent nature of ski-wear to the cobblestone streets of Paris.
Faux-fur collars were matched with fluffy cuffs, strappy sandals are finished with miniature black bows and blouses were crafted out of chiffon proving once again, that Chanel is still rooted in quintessential femininity. Layered pearls, gold chain belts that sit perfectly across the bare torso and iridescent quilted handbags are sure must-haves from the collection.
During a time where many of us are dreaming of sequins, dancing and late-night parties, the Chanel collection video, directed by Inez and Vinoodh, was a beautiful teaser for the liberation that hopefully, we will soon feel when we are out of this difficult time. Until then, I will be playing Virginie’s party at Castel on replay.
by Imogen Clark