Chanel – Métiers D’Art Collection 2020/21
Could there be a better location for Virginie Viard's second Métiers D'Art Collection than the 'Castle of Women'?
If there is one fashion house that exemplifies the quintessentially English phrase ‘keep calm and carry on’ Chanel would be it. Like the calming presence of the North Star in a storm, Chanel has accommodated 2020’s near-dystopian nature to adhere to their tried and trusted show schedule as much as possible. As Kipling once famously stated, ‘If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs….’ Chanel perhaps more than most others holds the coveted spot in luxury fashion of being the brand that everybody waits on to see what they will do next. As such, it should come as no surprise that they did exactly what they have done in recent years in a signal of stability and continuity to everyone else.
Yesterday (Thursday) Chanel debuted their debuted their regular Métiers D’Art Collection for 20/21 at the Château de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley. The difference being that this was only the second such collection without Karl Lagerfeld in the creative director’s chair. However, as the past couple of seasons has shown, Virginie Viard has more than adapted to the changing circumstances to make one of the biggest chairs in fashion well and truly her own.
Showing at the Château de Chenonceau, at the “Château des Dames”, was an obvious choice. It was designed and lived in by women, including Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medici. It is a castle on a human scale. And Catherine de’ Medici’s emblem was a monogram composed of two intertwined Cs, just like that of Chanel – Virgine Viard.
The gravity of the collection was mirrored by the grandeur of the Grand Gallery where the show took place. The wide expanse of the black and white checkered tiled floor could be seen reflected in numerous luxurious pieces throughout the show – shirt dresses; amazing, loose-weave, floor-length fringed skirts; bold overcoats; the attention to detail, location and collection, was impossible to miss. Other examples were seen in the floral embroideries and designs on the lapels of jackets, on floor-length skirts and the pencil skirts and matching tops combinations, echoing the floral arrangements found in the Château’s own gardens created by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medici.
Perhaps one of the most eye-catching aspects of this new collection was the use of the kind of deep-space, interstellar black that is almost mesmerising to look at. The liberal use of the luxurious colour punctuated the entire collection. Sometimes it was seen as a full solid block, as with the super-chic tweed hotpants suit, or it was the used as the base for an even more extravagant design, as with the incredible sequinned jacket and hotpants suit combination that successfully re-interpreted a familiar house code.
As we all head towards the light at the end of the tunnel that is 2021, as long as we continue to keep our eyes on Chanel then, on this showing, we’ll likely all be moving in the right direction.
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