Everything brilliant about the CHANEL Spring Summer 2024 Haute Couture collection could be summed up with its opening look. Worn by Margaret Qualley, the actor promenaded down the runway with a grin tacked to her face, looking like a modern simulacrum of Gabrielle Chanel herself. There was the Pierrot ruff, a nod to the French Maison's founder and a taste of the themes to follow: a show dedicated to performance, layered with the gauzy tulle of ballerina's tutus and dress. Do we think Virginie Viard has been tuning into TikTok's discourse around The Year of the Girl? After glimpsing this collection, we can't entirely rule it out.
Other details from the first exit to note: white stockings and burnished buttons. The stockings were a drop in the ocean of dance-inspired garments to follow. “I often think about dance, it's an important theme at Chanel," says creative director Virginie Viard. "The House is close to its institutions, to its choreographers and dancers, and we create costumes for the ballet. I have tried to bring together the power and finesse of bodies and clothes in a very ethereal collection, composed of tulle, ruffles, pleats and lace.”
Meanwhile, the buttons mirrored the set design – where a giant button was suspended in the centre of the runway – which mirrors The Button, a short film starring Qualley with original music from Kendrick Lamar. Three time's a pattern and the motif was not only deeply respected by Gabrielle Chanel, who treated them life jewels, but stands as a symbol of women's liberation, of the opening and closing of a chapter.
What followed was a whimsical collection of garments that treated tulle as the hero. Layered, sheer, dotted in velvet bows, feathers, thick with embroidery and arriving in pale pink, like the wisp of a dream, all of our girlhood fantasties are realised in the textile's various forms. While silk, tweed and velvet brought each style back down to earth.