For the Cruise 2022 show, designer Virginie Viard was inspired by the films of long-time Coco Chanel companion and director, Jean Cocteau. Chanel designed the costumes of his plays, Antigone, Orpheus, and Oedipus Rex, and he took a number of portraits of her and illustrations of her designs. For the collection, Viard drew specifically from his 1960 film, Testament of Orpheus, to create something “quite rock”, she wrote. “Lots of fringes, in leather, beads and sequins, t-shirts bearing the face of the model Lola Nicon like a rock star, worn with tweed suits trimmed with wide braids, and pointed silver Mary-Janes.” She built upon these with fishnet stockings, heavy black eyeliner and face studs – because one can never be too punk.
Importantly, the show was staged inside the Carrières de Lumières (“Quarries of Light”) in Les Baux, Provence. It’s where Testament of Orpheus was filmed and with cavernous chambers that create their own shows of sun and shadow, were the perfect backdrop for a collection that was all about the opposing forces of light and shade.
Viard juxtaposed the hard, mod punk references with more soft, bright white tones: ivory lace dresses decorated with good luck charms, cotton sweatshirt dresses embroidered with wild flowers from Provence and wide-legged, high-waisted white linen pants.
For the designer, the key to unlocking all of the shades of Chanel is understanding the connections she forged with the creatives around her. "Ultimately, through her friendships, it is Chanel, the woman, that I love more and more,” she said in the show notes. “Her life gives us access to characters just as extraordinary as herself.”
The overall effect of the show was to make a clear: No matter what woman you want to be – hard, soft, punk, or feminine – you will always be catered for by Chanel.