The last day of Paris Fashion Week was an ode to happiness. When most of the fashion shows were cancelled or virtual, Chanel presented its Spring Summer 2021 Ready-To-Wear Collection under the magical nave of the Grand Palais. On a gloomy and rainy Parisian Tuesday morning, the show was a pure moment of beauty. At the end of the presentation, the sun came through the vast glass of the roof, as a good omen ?
On February 12, ex French Minister of Culture Françoise Nyssen announced the ambitious project to restore the Grand Palais in Paris which will take at least three years of work. The Grand Palais was built for the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1900 and needs today to be renovated which will safeguard its majesty while adding further appeal. Chanel is the only private sponsor of this colossal project. For Chanel, this historical and incredible monument is part of the history of the house since Karl Lagerfeld presented his first fashion show there in 2006. This season, Chanel explores a new facet of the house. Virginie Viard celebrated the cinema from the Nouvelle Vague, Italian cinema and Hollywood. “I was thinking about actresses at the photocall, on the red carpet, that moment when they’re being called by the photographers: their faces a little distracted, their attitude a little out of sync with the outfits they’re wearing. And then there are the fans waiting for them behind the barriers, this very lively side of the cinema that happens beyond the cinema, that’s what I like,” Virginie Viard said in her collection notes. “This collection is a tribute to the muses of the House. Some of them are far away, it’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 made 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.”
While some luxury fashion brands are still wondering about presenting their collections physically, there are no doubts for Chanel. “I personally don’t believe in digital presentations. The show is the main expression for designers to present their collections. Virginie Viard designs her collections with a story and a “ballet” on a catwalk in mind. It makes the difference and the strength of a brand” told Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Chanel Fashion Activities to Vogue Business.
The magic of Chanel was presented last week to 500 exclusive socially distanced and masked guests in a very pure decor. Chanel’s own version of the famous Hollywood sign -Chanel spelled out in 12 meter high white capital letters which formed the backdrop, blown up and illuminated in lightbulbs. 70 models -very diverse- including voluptuous size 40 model Jill Kortleve, Louise de Chevigny, Mica Argañaraz, Vittoria Ceretti; in house models Amanda Sanchez and Cris Herrmann walked the catwalks and exuded a freedom of movement and nonchalance on a rhythmic playlist concocted by sound designer Michel Gaubert. Models strolled the white powdered catwalk under the song of “Voix sans Issue” by legendary French artist Christophe to the final song “Spotlight” from British singer Jessie Ware.
The teaser for the show produced by Inez and Vinoodh included extracts from the French New Wave classics La Piscine (1969) by Jacques Deray, Breathless (1960), A Woman is A Woman (1961), Contempt (1963) and Pierrot Le Fou (1965) by Jean Luc Godard literally brought Paris to Santa Monica Mountains, with the Sacré Coeur nestled in the hills. A symbolic marriage of Parisian relaxation with laid-back LA style.
In this Spring Summer 2021 Ready To Wear collection, logos and trademarks are accentuated. An echo to the 1980s and Karl Lagerfeld’s gold eccentricity. Number 5 is the bullseye number on neon-light logo t-shirts and light dresses. The double-C logo was the crown on a tiara and silver letters spelled out Chanel on illuminated jackets. Mixed with above-the-knee skirts, high waisted black Bermuda shorts, pale pink capri pants and pleated jeans in fluorescent pink and green colors. Layers of graphic asymmetry. Then, black and white gained ascendancy in the collection. The emblematic ecru and black tweed suits are revisited. The CC ribbon finish was absolutely stunning. The Chanel jacket was so elegantly reinterpreted as a short tweed dress.
Long dresses printed with little flowers in black and white, or in an ultra-fine tweed punctuated the collection. On the feet, black and gold slingback gold, black leather so chic leather or high heals salome. Over the necks, emblematic 2.55 quilted chain bag became a gold pendant, sophisticated ropes of pearls are worn in accumulation or a Chanel Forever necklace. Virginie Viard definitely designed a very feminine collection for all kinds of women. Modernity, youthfulness, lightness and elegance.
Also testified in the show, make up which was matte on the eyes, lips and skin. Chanel’s Global Creative Make Up and Color Designer Artist Lucia Pica said “it’s about a cinematic woman, the makeup look is a very exquisite masculine and feminine with a minimalist glamour feel to it. It’s an all-over matte look. It’s very finished and matte in a pristine kind. The girls feel slightly untouchable.” The skin was prepared with Hydra Beauty Micro Gel Yeux, Hydra beauty Micro Serum and Hydra beauty Camellia Water Cream. The Chanel Galaxy continues.