Chanel unveiled the film of its Fall Winter 2021/22 Ready-To-Wear Collection on Tuesday march 9 at 10.30 Paris time on chanel.com.

After years of epic shows under the vast steel and glass structure of the Grand Palais – now under renovation- Creative Director Virginie Viard chose the very intimate club Castel as a backdrop. “I like Castel so much for its many salons, the spiral staircase, its bar, the journey through this venue, its little house style, where the models can get changed, dressed and undressed, do their make-up together, and have fun like a girls night in. It’s very sensual.” said Virginie Viard.

The legendary left bank club located at 15 rue Princesse in St Germain des Près is the epitome of cool. Opened by Jean Castel in the 60s, the place has always attracted intellectuals and artists like Francoise Sagan or Mike Jagger. Castel is very warm, confidential and cozy like an English house. 

Duo photographers Inez & Vinoodh filmed the show and played magnificently with contrasts. “The show’s focus was on individuality, intimacy and feminity. Chanel’s effortlessly cool girl is always eccentric and glamorous. Club Castel was the prefect place for that, the girls dressed up for themselves, had a show for themselves and felt strong and beautiful together” said Inez Van Lamsweerde. Beautiful.

The Dutch duo have also taken a series of black and white portraits of ambassadors and friends of the House invited to watch the film like actresses Margaret Qualley, Whitney Peak or singers Belgian Angèle or Jennie Kim of Blackpink, musician and model Soo Joo Park but also in-house model Amanda Sanchez and the sound illustrator and long time collaborator Michel Gaubert who of course created the playlist for the collection. Photographers Inez & Vinoodh also staged the images of the teasers and press kit reflecting sensuality and contrasts so loved by Virginie Viard.

The show started with a 2min countdown teaser video – shot by Caroline de Maigret wearing a bathrobe and holding a cup of coffee- which showcased ambassadors waiting for the show to begin, all dressed in pieces from the latest CHANEL collections.

Then “Do You Know Where You’re Going To” by Diana Ross rang out and models Lola Nicon, Vivienne Rohner, Louise de Chevigny, Mica Arganaraz or Rebecca Leigh Longendyke walked the narrow Rue Princesse street and entered Castel.

This show featured 20 models instead of the usual 80. “I imagined the models doing a show for themselves, going from room to room, running into each other in staircases, piling their coats up in the cloakroom and going up to the next floor to get changed. And I thought of the shows that Karl would tell me about, back in  the day, a long time ago, when the models would dress themselves and do their own make-up,” said Virginie Viard. That was the atmosphere of the show.

Models went up and down the spiral staircase, drop off their voluminous zipped coat in tweed embellished with braid, long coat in a chevron motif, patent shearling coat or long puffer jackets. Sensual and feminine, chic and masculine. A man’s black shirt with a white collar and cuffs under a precious suit in navy lurex, a tweed kilt over a knitted jumpsuit embellished with iridescent threads. A reminder of long time Chanel Muse Stellant Tennant who died in December at the age of 50. 

A notable contrast between volumes, materials and spirit. Behind the long coat, the models’ bare legs wear voluminous boots in black curly faux fur, a trouser suit in black tweed with small checks in blue lurex or a chiffon dress worn over a bandeau top and skirt. 

The collection was a mix of ski holidays and cool Parisian chic from 1970 until now. Overalls-ski suits in white quilting embroidered with red and blue motifs or in fuchsia tweed are worn with strappy sandals embellished with chains. 

A combination of motifs, textures and jewels for a free and sophisticated look. Shoes alert: sequined ballet flats, the snow two-tone style boots and silver heeled booties. Chanel logo addicts will find plenty to love from blue jeans printed with metallic double -Cs or multicolored printed letters Chanel.

Chanel codes are always mixed with its legend of nonchalance. Divine layers of sautoir necklaces and thin beaded braces . The it accessories for next winter? the Chanel garter. Sparkly, with strass and ribbon. So sensual. 

At the end of the show all the smiling models brought the party to the street joining Virginie Viard on Rue Princesse. 

In these virtual times, a virtual show could be more intimate and could help to focus on details, but an grandiose runway is still missed. We are all just looking forward to the next one which should be the 2021/2022 Cruise Show Collection that will take place on May 4th 2021 at the spectacular Carrières des Lumières in the village les Baux de Provence in the South of France.



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