“Devoting the entire collection to tweed is a tribute,” says Virginie Viard for Chanel Fall 2022. “We followed the footsteps of Gabrielle Chanel along the River Tweed, to imagine tweeds in the colours of this landscape. Like that of a long pink coat mottled with blue and purple, or a burgundy suit with a delicate gold shimmer. This is what Gabrielle Chanel would do on her walks through the Scottish countryside: she would gather ferns and bouquets of flowers to inspire the local artisans for the tones she wanted.”
There is nothing more Chanel than an entire collection devoted to tweed, and at the Grand Palais Éphémère in Paris today, we were reminded of the fact. Down a winding blue, river-like runway within tweed swathed walls of the set, Viard's girls evoked the spirit of Chanel in its most classic of forms.
It was a scene straight out of the Scottish countryside (if you are a Scot wearing Chanel, that is). Oversized tweed coats were shown alongside skirt sets and shorter hemmed, tailored jackets, before transitioning into more loose silhouettes. There were oversized jackets, clad with chest pockets, that Gabrielle Chanel lifted from her lover the Duke of Westminster when she used to borrow his clothes on visits to his country house. “There’s nothing sexier than wearing the clothes of the person you love,” Viard continues in her show notes, and it's true, especially when it looks like Chanel Fall 2022. To accompany clothes perfect for the English countryside, came thick ribbed tights in muted hues alongside wellington boots – some cropped just below the knee, other's thigh high – both emblazoned with the House's CC's.
This moment, amid so much Gabrielle, felt like a tribute to Lagerfeld and his knack for weaving the brands iconic logo into modern silhouettes, evocative of his Fall 1997 wellingtons and the viral clear rain boots he introduced for Spring 2018.
Then came evening wear, black tweed strapless dresses followed by more fluid offerings in black and hot pink silk. There was a sparkly, floor length coat buttoned through the front and worn like a dress, while a shorter jacket in the same material was swung over the shoulders of a model wearing a sheer crop top. To close, A plunging v neck lace dress, buttoned at the front, leant a casual finish to an otherwise formal piece.
There is a sense of ease in Fall 2022, a growing theme for Viard at the helm of the brand. She knows that the modern Chanel woman is less pretentious than her previous counterparts. Less fuss, more undone. And the beauty of her delivery in this knowing, is taking a fabrication like tweed, so synonymous with polish and stuffiness, and loosens it for the contemporary wearer. If there was ever a moment for tweed to feel "cool", Viard has brought it forward.
Watch the Chanel Fall 2022 show, below.