Chanel Haute Couture S/S2021
Venetia Tyler experiences the recent Chanel couture for the summer and discovers new family.
Virginie Viard is a designer who has always looked to what women desire to have in their wardrobes. For her S/S2021 Haute Couture collection the Chanel creative director took this vision a step further to consider not only what the customers of Maison Chanel would like to wear, but also what they long to experience: togetherness, family, unity and celebration. And with the reopening of the Haute Couture Salons at 31 Rue Cambon that had been closed since the beginning of lockdown – imaginatively and beautifully redecorated by Jacques Grange – the Chanel family had the perfect excuse to host a celebration.
The majestic halls of Grand Palais were decorated with arches of pastel-coloured roses, all in hues of pink and yellow, which were welcomed by the array of models who flowed down the stairs. The models began the show by walking down the grand staircase together as a ‘family’ unit into the sparsely populated venue – accompanied by an equally sparse arrangement of the Ronettes classic, Be My Baby, and watched by the likes of Marion Cotillard, Vanessa Paradis and Penelope Cruz (all wearing Chanel, of course) – and then each did their walk before taking a seat to watch and support the next model up. The effect was to engender the warmth of a family reunion and the feeling of belonging when you think back on it or see it in a picture on the mantel above the fireplace. Viard perfectly captured the informality and openness of this dynamic. After all, Chanel is a family in their own right.
The show rapidly, yet gracefully, picked up the pace with a change of tone and ambience and the film transforming from black and white to colour. For those of us watching from around the world we were able now able to see the colour palettes used in the collection for the first time. As the momentum continued to build, feelings of freedom and the attention to detail and design were beautifully embodied in elegant skirts of pink hues paired with a selection of summer evening party shoes, such as the wedge heels decorated with a fine golden quilt-like grid. Comfortable enough to dance the night away in – even wearing couture.
Those warm and sociable summer evenings we’ve longed for during the last year and more of turmoil were also brought to life by the selection of petticoats in motion and the floor-length skirt made from a tower of crushed and layered multi-coloured frills – guaranteed to bring sunshine to even the greyest summer’s day. The sheer romance of the long, removable skirt in white lace and embroidered with delicate daisies showed Viard’s versatility in design when it comes to merging the tradition and heritage of Chanel with innovative and forward-thinking silhouettes.
The Chanel Haute Couture S/S2021 collection fills a void for those who have missed out on heartfelt embraces and the warmth of family gatherings. It’s simply just a celebration of family and love. The collection successfully reminds us of what was and makes us look forward to what is to come, with a magical essence and a feeling of hope that we will be able to celebrate together again soon.
Watch the full Chanel Haute Couture S/S2021 show film at THE FALLtv.
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Read our review of the Schiaparelli Couture show here.