Four years ago – following a visit to Chanel’s Saint Tropez boutique – Karl Lagerfeld introduced the annual Coco Beach capsule of swimwear and accompanying cover-ups and accessories as a tribute to Coco Chanel’s love for the sun, sea and nature.
Fast forward to this year, and a distinct sense of lightness permeates the collection’s fifth edition. Black and white, timeless colours that are also emblematic of the brand, are central to the line-up with plain jersey maillots and bikinis embellished subtly with lace-up details, pearl beads and double “C” motifs.
The accessories department is where artistic director Viard turns up the playfulness. The popular logo-swathed platform sandals from Spring Summer 2022, for example, have been adapted into thong slippers, while a small circular tweed clutch (pictured here in pink) can be expanded into a relaxed bowling bag for different occasions.
Monochrome cover-ups are effortlessly elegant and comfortable (cue the flowy tweed pants with a white waistband that Coco Beach campaign star Margaret Qualley wears here – it’s made of super-soft jersey that’s said to keep its shape when wet and dries quickly).
What place does tweed have in a collection meant for swim and resort-style leisure? Plenty, as it turns out. Using a lightweight version of the artisanal fabric that boasts the appearance of terry cloth, Chanel has included flirty, seaside-appropriate ready-to-wear such as this mini dress, as well as a matching cropped blouse and pareo, in Coco Beach 2022.
All are covered in mini white sequins and double “C” motifs – perfect for transitioning into evening cocktails – while scallop-cut hemlines are meant to evoke the same movement as when the coastal breeze hits. The material has been cleverly translated into bathing suits too – as a pink chequered print complete with girlish bows and strass charms.
A house ambassador since 2019, Qualley shares her thoughts about the collection, stating: “The pieces in this collection are at once fantastically luxurious and easy going, a seemingly impossible feat, but not in the hands of Virginie Viard!”
At its heart, the annual Coco Beach collection is meant to cover all the wardrobe needs for a waterside vacay. Daytime essentials this year include black bike shorts, lightweight denim separates with a vintage and quilted finish, and what happens to be some of the trendiest accessories of the moment: bucket hats and shield-style sunnies.
To complete one’s evening look effortlessly, Chanel has introduced practical bags (think satchels and totes) in elevated finishes such as tweed and satin embellished with pearls. Meanwhile, pieces in pink, from bikinis to blousons, are meant to add colour and liven up one’s look. The maison plays with two shades that have been selected to flatter any skin tone, so that there’s something for everyone. Keep scrolling for proof.