Why Chanel’s Newest Couture Present Was About An Evolution, Not A Revolution
Lead PictureCourtesy of Chanel
At all times however by no means the identical – that was a pithy phrase Karl Lagerfeld as soon as scribbled subsequent to a sketch of a forthcoming Chanel assortment, a sign of how he sought to repeatedly reinvent inside the home’s well-established codes. Virginie Viard, a veteran working at Lagerfeld’s proper hand, is aware of these codes inside-out. And far in the identical vein as Gabrielle Chanel herself, she seeks not revolution however evolution, a quiet shift of silhouettes and concepts from season to season.
Viard’s Autumn/Winter 2022 assortment is, in her personal phrases, a “continuity.” There may be certainly a continuity between this and her final couture assortment proven in January, the most recent proven in a manège on the L’Etrier de Paris that underscores an equestrian theme evident in that final present, the place Charlotte Casiraghi galloped on horseback like an avatar of a younger Coco. And Chanel herself was all about continuity: her iconic fits, first launched within the 1910s however honed to a machinelike effectivity of reduce and proportion within the Fifties, grew to become a uniform of recent girls exactly as a result of, in contrast to the ever-changing hemlines and silhouettes of collections of her contemporaries like Dior, they’d a consistency, an everlasting high quality. They had been about type, not trend.
There may be additionally a thread that weaves Viard’s Chanel to Lagerfeld’s. His first assortment for the home, in 1983, took Chanel’s work within the Nineteen Thirties as inspiration – the least Chanel of Chanel, the place fairly than 20s little black attire or 50s fits, Chanel experimented with romantic lace robes, vibrant prints of feather and flowers, and even extravagant historicism. The identical interval conjures up Viard, who creates elongated languid robes and fits with tugged-down skirts, and an homage to Chanel’s ‘Bijoux de Diamants’ assortment of 1932. That was exceptional: a group of diamonds set into platinum, Gabrielle Chanel’s solely foray into wonderful jewelry, it debuted on the top – or, fairly, within the very depths – of the Despair, counterintuitive brilliance that made girls dream. Right here, the weather are translated to clasps and particulars on attire of dreamy gossamer chiffon.
The equestrian theme leads to fuller trousers that wink at jodhpurs, at boots that resemble these worn to trip, in wide-brimmed hats – female capelines, but in addition tipping their cap to stetsons. Horsewomen come from all nations of the world, in any case. And elongated coats sketched the road of stylish driving habits of the previous. It isn’t a romantic Woman Godiva on horseback that Viard appears to, however the true picture of Chanel herself gallops round British estates alongside her lover the Duke of Westminster. “Garments stay gentle, female, designed to be worn,” Viard states. “I can’t see myself doing it another means.” And certainly, on condition that high fashion is usually seen as a give up to fantasy, this concentrate on the reality of the craft is hanging – and underscores the truth that Chanel, then and now, has all the time been about dressing girls for all times.