The new era of Chanel house
It’s a new dawn at the French house of Chanel, under the new Creative Direction of Virginie Viard since Lagerfeld’s passing in February. She debuted her first solo collection – the Chanel Cruise 2020 – in front of all fashion media, fashion insiders and passionates eyes, ready to write a new chapter in the story of the prestigious maison.
Perfectly in step with the Kaiser’s trademark habit of choosing incredible scenographies for his shows, she staged the runway in a reconstruction of a Belle Époque style train station, under the huge glass cupola of the renowned expositive pavilion of Grand Palais. Models walked on the train platform alongside the tracks; several train stops bore the names of enchanting getaways as Saint-Tropez, Edimburgh, Venice, Rome and Antibes.
As Virginie has been Karl’s right-hand for over 30 years, it comes as no surprise that the pupil paid homage to her master through several detailing complexities – such as the high, white and rigid collars, the bows (here in noteworthy dimensions, adorning blouses, belts and dresses), the two-coloured shoes, as well as the classic tweed and bouclé suiting. Tradition persists in the Chanel signature codes of elegance; though Viard is conferring a subtle yet definitive breaking point from Chanel’s recent past, through a simplicity so dear to the very founder of the house, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. A daring ridefinition of the silhouettes – winking at the 1920’s dresses – results into a minimal aesthetic and a relaxed and comfortable attitude.
There’s an evident detach from the somewhat stereotyped, timeless refinement of Lagerfeld’s woman: Viard aims at giving a fresh perspective and a new kind of wearability to Chanel’s clothing, offering her own -feminine- point of view. She knows exactly what a woman needs nowadays. Therefore, she blends several dressing possibilities in terms of feminine power, ranging from daywear cheerful, ethereal chiffon dresses, to elegant sequined dresses for evening; then again, to workwear suiting and masculine -often military-inspired- tailoring. Twin sets are also declined in total denim outfits, trenchcoats and blazers are constructed in oversize silhouettes, with utility details. It’s all about an effortless elegance; a more grounded femininity, able to meet the everyday needs of a woman wanting to express any facet of her personality.
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