For Chanel Haute Couture we went to the chapel, for Fall Winter 2021, we're going to the club. With a yearning to go out-out like never before, Chanel's creative director Virginie Viard tapped into the hedonism brimming our subconscious and brought the pulsing music to us in Chanel's Fall Winter 2021 show last night via the walls of Castel, arguably one of Paris’ most iconic nightclubs.
Here, in an atmosphere far different from Chanel's historic, dream-like location of the Grand Palais, the show took on a different attitude - one brimming with energy and possibility, the kind we all need right now. Laden with the kind of anticipation that only comes with getting ready for a night out, Viard's intention was to create an air of intimacy and ritualistic excitement, "I imagined the models doing a show for themselves, going from room to room, crossing each other in staircases, piling their coats up in the cloakroom and going up to the next floor to get changed. And 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,” she says.
If aprés-ski met modern glamour, Chanel Fall Winter 2021 would be the result. Translucent organza and chiffon are layered over tweed bandeaus, long-line overcoats are layered atop thigh-high bodysuits, tweed jackets are cropped to the midriff and underwear is barely concealed with sheer swaths of fabric. With a night out feeling imminent, Viard's vision of the modern Chanel woman is solidified within the salons of Castel.
For a post-dance-all-night addition, faux fur booties are paired with a white coat in patent sheepskin and lined with faux fur, coupled with a modern iteration of the down jacket, ready to be handed to coat check and swaddled in come the early hours of the morning. Ski suits in white quilting embroidered with red and blue motifs and in fuchsia tweed have us standing to attention against the backdrop of technicolour sequin mini dresses and rainbow logo printed skirts. “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.” Viard points out.
It's all sensuality with motifs of masculinity. Chains adorned with pearls and charms track the body, wrapping around torso's and meeting at thighs while braces in the form of pearls, a lurex navy suit, and a black shirt with a white collar and cuffs strike an androgynous balance, and ode to the late Chanel muse Stella Tennant - a master at quiet sensuality. "Today some of these silhouettes make me think of Stella Tennant’s allure, the way she wore certain pieces, it was so Chanel.” Viard recalls.
The coming together of the present and future, a reflection of our two moods as we (hopefully) transition from domestic life back to afterparties in Paris. If there's one thing that Chanel can guarantee, it's the provocation of dreaming.