Chanel set the scene for its spring/summer 2021 runway with huge neon white letters spelling out the house’s name. We’re not in Paris anymore (beneath the soaring arches of the Grand Palais, to be exact), but in a sartorial alternative reality in the Hollywood Hills.
“I was thinking about actresses at the photo call, on the red carpet,” explained creative director Virginie Viard of her Tinseltown-inspired show. “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 make us dream so much.”
Dreams were alive on the runway via feather-dusted gowns, tiered chiffon layers and sparkling crystal and pearl embellishment. There were smart separates with a Parisian cool-girl sensibility – leather shorts, bubble-gum pink denim and graffiti-splashed tees – as well as Chanel signatures, like neat tweed skirt suits in neutrals and brights alike.
But while the collection dripped with nostalgia, it also masterfully reflected the zeitgeist. In fact, the clothes struck stunning parallels with the wardrobe of Emily In Paris, which catapulted to number-one on Netflix this weekend. As Hannah-Rose Yee writes in the December issue of marie claire, the television romcom’s costumes are defined by “electric colour, impeccable accessories, some very good boots and lashings of Chanel. Clothes that offer you an escape from the trackpants you’ve been wearing since March.”
And what better escape than a pair of bubble-gum pink jeans? Best paired with a teeny tiny bag slung nonchalantly around the waist, and a fluttery black chiffon cape.
Cardigans, blazers and trousers were splashed with mood-boosting colour.