AN EASILY forgettable part of a garment but one that symbolises freedom from restraint, the button is what Virginie Viard began with when designing Chanel’s spring-summer 2024 couture collection. It opens an item up. It closes it.
And for Gabrielle Chanel it was a touch that needed respect, adding it to create dare, sparkle or even allure at times.
The notion of emancipation with the button was translated to the world of dance. Seen as a ‘physical poetry’, watching ballet is seen by the designer as an escape from the laws of nature. Taking this approach, SS24 couture was laced with a landscape of transparent short skirts, long dresses and cropped capes echoing costume design.
“I often think about dance, it’s an important theme at Chanel,” explained Viard in the show notes. “The House is close to its institutions, to its choreographers and dancers, and we create costumes for the ballet. I have tried to bring together the power and finesse of bodies and clothes in a very ethereal collection, composed of tulle, ruffles, pleats and lace”.
Embroidery heightened the sense of performance with little bows, lace belts, braids and tiny flowers adorning the looks, whilst injections of masculine tropes were seen in the use of white ballet leotards that accentuate the chest.
But the use of ballet as a source of inspiration for this collection stretches further than Viard’s curiosity of the House, this year marks a century after Gabrielle Chanel’s first designs for ballet. The capsule of costumes were made in a sea of pink and white aquarelle, with bursts of deep hue of vivid colours – just like this couture collection.
The beauty of SS24 couture lies both referentially and through the eye – the detail, meaning and execution is quintessentially a beautiful ode to the freedom of Chanel’s clothes.