Unboxing is a craft that requires you to show some TLC. And that point is demonstrated clearly when we unpacked the dozens of boxes and packaging containing bags, accessories and ready-to-wear from Chanel’s glamorous-meets-zippy Monte Carlo-inspired Cruise 2023 collection, which is currently in store. On hand to show how it’s done: the energetic songbird Shye, who also serves as the perfect model for the collection.
The destination has long had a special place in the history of the French maison. First, it was a favoured destination of Coco Chanel, so much so that she opened a boutique inside its famed Hermitage Hotel in 1913 and then acquired a villa dubbed La Pausa – located not too far away from the sovereign city-state. Another connection is the Ballet Russes, founded by her good pal Serge Diaghilev in Monte Carlo and for which she designed costumes.
Swimsuits evoke what Virginie Viard describes as a “a sporty atmosphere” in the Cruise 2023 collection.
Karl Lagerfeld continued the love affair by moving to Monaco in the early ’80s (his villa is visible from the Beach Hotel, where the Cruise 2023 show was held) while present-day artistic director Virginie Viard picked Charlotte Casiraghi, daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco, to be a Chanel ambassador. Says Viard: “Monaco is inherent to the history of Chanel. We have lived so many happy moments there.”
With Monaco being a picturesque seaside city-state with its own Grand Prix, one can expect plenty of sportswear influences served up with sophistication and unabashed playfulness. Swimsuits, for example, shimmer with strass embroidery and are designed to pair seamlessly with asymmetrical black skirts or draped dresses so that one can transition easily from coast to club. (The idea, it seems, was inspired by Princess Caroline’s outfit when Viard first met her: on the beach in Monaco.)
One can count on Chanel for effortlessly chic resort dressing. After all, it was Gabrielle Chanel who invented the idea of the Cruise collection: a lightweight wardrobe that promises both elegance and comfort so one can focus on having fun during her seaside vacay.
Meanwhile, quilted jumpsuits reminiscent of what F1 drivers wear are quilted with tweed or terry cloth and worn unbuttoned, while other silhouettes exude a similarly spirited athleticism. Clock the tennis chic mini skirt ensembles and bags in the shapes of racquets – fun! Want a slice of that Monaco chic? Scroll on for our edit of items from the collection.
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