The codes of the luxury maison Chanel are simple; tweed, pearls, camellias, yet Creative Director Virginie Viard is ushering a new motif for the house—the horse.
While Haute Couture presentations are typically revered for their theatricality, especially at Chanel, Viard surprised us all with an unlikely surprise guest who opened the Spring/Summer 2022 collection presentation at the equine dreamscape at the Grand Palais.
Fashion and European royalty, Charlotte Casiraghi, who is the granddaughter of Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco, proved that this season is set to be a horse girl summer. How, you ask? Only by commencing the show with a saunter around the runway on horseback.
Of course, this isn’t the first time a horse has graced the catwalk at Chanel with model Lola Nicon as the ‘bride’ mounting a white horse to close the label’s Spring/Summer 2021 Haute Couture show.
Donning an apt jockey’s cap, riding boots and black tweed jacket, Casiraghi set the tone for the collection which featured quintessential pant suits, delicate dresses and of course the iconic bride.
Virad subvert our expectations for a more androgynous approach of Haute Couture, instead showcasing “ethereal dresses that float as if suspended” adorned with “fringes, macramé, bright lace, iridescent tweeds and colourful jewelled buttons”, as per the collection notes.
Rather than the more practical riding shoe, Virad styled the models in two-toned Mary Janes which are a nod to the golden era of the house in the 1920’s.
Gabrielle Chanel’s effervescent femininity is definitely an inspiration for the collection with plenty of Coco-isms at play. The poster child of the roaring twenties was the flapper, so Viard presented peplum-esque silhouettes that brought the look into a contemporary age.
Fringe hangs of a bodice in one look, while elsewhere in the collection it’s used as accent shoulders and waistlines. The makeup of the collection is true to form, inspired by leading ladies in silent movies like Metropolis and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
While Chanel certainly isn’t horsing around this season, we can’t help but wonder whether this saddle club style is back?
While Collina Strada’s Spring/Summer 2022 show took the horse motif literally, showcasing paper mache horse heads as an avant-garde accessory, we’re wondering whether it’s time to stock up on tailored blazers, knee high boots and cigarette trousers, all Chanel of course.
Keep scrolling for marie claire’s favourite looks from the collection below.