Location, location, location. Never underestimate the wonders of a good venue. Virginie Viard and her team left the expansive Grand Palais for an intimate and very personal Fall/Winter show at Chanel. It may not be by choice – the Parisian grand dame is under renovation – but it certainly was a serendipitous occasion.
It was a glamorous and intimate affair for the Chanel Fall/Winter 2021 show.
Held at Castel, an iconic boite de nuit on Paris’ Left Bank since the ’60s, moving to the space added a little fairy dust to the clothes. Viard mentioned in a statement that she was searching for a venue that could evoke a sense of warmth and escapism – certainly, we can all say yes in these times, especially since most of the world is still in quarantine mode.
The show, filmed via a seamless choreography of cameras a la Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman (here, it was helmed by Viard’s favourite collaborators Inez and Vinoodh), featured models crisscrossing each other in the narrow staircases and hallways where Serge Gainsbourg and Amanda Lear once roamed.
This gold leather jacket look closed the show.
They left their hefty tweed coats in the cloakroom and headed up to get changed before emerging on the catwalk (cue club anthem). “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,” Viard stated.
“This collection is a mix of two influences: the ambiance of ski holidays, which I adore, and a certain idea of cool Parisian chic, from the 1970s to now,” said Viard.
The after-hours theme of the collection meant there was a generous show of skin and thigh-high slits but done with Viard’s signature sensuous touch. There was also a strong ski influence (a story arc that we’ve been seeing at other brands for Fall) as Viard “adore(s)” ski holidays. Shaggy ski boots, down jackets and ski suits were all par for the course.
These pieces were mixed and matched in a youthful and louche way, complemented with slouchy pants and roomy cargos – suggesting how we’ve all become masters of comfort chic once we step out into a post-loungewear world.
Fantasy tweed and velvet fabrics got an extra shine for Fall with sequin and lurex embellishment.
As with all Chanel collections, there were witty conversation starters in the accessories department. Our favourites were the two-tone boots that can be unzipped to reveal a pair of heeled booties, and a strass-encrusted garter that adorned the bare thighs of a model in a ruched black mini dress.
Now who’s in the mood to get out and dance? Ahead some of the key looks and trends we’re taking away from the show.