Upon entering the Grand Palais, guests stepped into an early industrial age train station, each section headed to, signs suggested, a different exotic destination – perhaps a metaphor of Karl’s recent departure.
Chanel Cruise 2020 show at the Grand Palais in Paris. Photo: Courtesy of Chanel.
The room was quiet, and a certain eeriness wafted through the air, from a crowd fully aware it was about to witness the first collection entirely designed sans the Kaiser, but by his studio director Virginie Viard.
Did that change much? Had the anticipated event lost its magic? The answer is simple: no.
The clothes carried the same richness of references, this time mixing a romantic-age air with an urban twist.
Lips were painted in glossy shades of black, hair was worn wrapped in a scarf or with a smooth center part, accessories included Chanel-ified water bottles, while bags were worn as fanny packs, around the waist or across the chest.
As for the clothes, shirting played an essential role and displayed plenty of complex detailing, knots, and flounces layered with traditional workwear material: beige toile or deep blue denim, worn as casual – yet sharply tailored – suits, complete with high-waisted belts.
Chanel Cruise 2020 show at the Grand Palais in Paris. Photos: Courtesy of Chanel.
Obligatory twists were as frequent as they were clever: gowns were worn as coats, large bows became teenie-weenie corsets, bell-bottom pants came with a side slit. This touch of ohlala also appeared in a wide, PVC-esque jumpsuit. Billowing layering came with graphic prints, suits were subtly deconstructed and worn effortlessly.
Sheer lace shift dresses and off-the-shoulder blouses contrasted some boyish notes of the collection, such as over the knee Yeye-like 60s skirts that would have made a young Françoise blush hardily with pride.
Cone-shaped, heeled Mary Jane sandals are likely to be a hit once they hit the stores.
In a nutshell: deconstructed classics, with an air of freedom that seem to look towards a new air of liberté.