Chanel swaps Grand Palais for nightclub with ski-inspired fall parade – WWD

Goodbye Grand Palais: For her fall collection, Chanel artistic director Virginie Viard has swapped the vast steel and glass structure for the more intimate backdrop of Castel, the Parisian institution that has hosted its share of fashion week after-party.

Models walked up and down the club’s labyrinthine staircase in the film shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, which sought to recapture the magic of Parisian nightlife, closed since last October as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Do you remember the changing rooms? This one was on steroids, filling the tweed coats and down jackets models casually tossed to reveal a variety of skimpy and sparkly party outfits.

Maxi coats were layered over sheer negligee briefs that opened to reveal high waisted panties, while a chunky black bouclé cardigan slipped to expose a holographic sequin dress.

Behind the Scenes at Chanel RTW Fall 2021
Kuba Dabrowski / WWD

“The collection is inspired by winter sports,” Viard said during a preview at the Chanel studio on rue Cambon, as the models were paired with handbags, ranging from styles of necklaces to the waist of a compact in shaggy faux fur bags with link straps.

With audiences still banned, she said now was not a good time to host the show at the Grand Palais, the site of Chanel’s traditional extravagances since 2005, which is undergoing renovations. This show presented 20 models, instead of the usual 80.

“In a small space like this it’s cuter than at the Grand Palais – even the big coats look bigger,” Viard said, adding that she wanted to create a sultry vibe by showing off the models. changing and touching up their makeup in the cabin. hidden behind a bead curtain.

Think of it as the après-ski part of the brand’s Coco Neige capsule collection, launched in 2018 by the late Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld.

The film toned down on the hotter side of Castel – the place is famous for its vermilion-red walls and phallic-patterned carpet – by judiciously marrying black-and-white and color footage, but this collection revealed a more alluring side. to Viard, who previously switched between chaste schoolgirl silhouettes and the exuberance of the 1980s.

Chanel RTW Fall 2021

Chanel RTW Fall 2021
Courtesy of Chanel

At times it bordered on bad taste: A black strappy fringed dress was accessorized with a rhinestone choker wrapped around a thigh, while lacy bodysuits underpinned everything from quilted ski overalls topped with overlay. ‘a logo tweed bolero jackets with matching wide pants.

But Chanel purists will find their happiness. Model Louise de Chevigny stood out in a black lamé version of the classic Chanel suit, her pleated skirt slit to show off bare legs tucked into chunky snow boots with contrasting toes, in a fun take on Chanel’s iconic two-tone ballet flats. . (Hot shoe alert number two: Silver heeled boots with padded zippered covers.)

The long tweed coats had a timeless feel, while the faux fur versions of the classic Chanel tweed jacket recalled Lagerfeld’s irreverent approach to house codes – as did the plethora of logos, faded jeans printed with doubles. Metallic C to a multicolored print made from the repeating letters of the name Chanel.

Chanel RTW Fall 2021

Chanel RTW Fall 2021
Courtesy of Chanel

Viard said some of the looks, including a tweed kilt worn over a knit jumpsuit, reminded her of longtime Chanel muse Stella Tennant, who died in December at the age of 50. Certainly there was an elegiac tinge to the display, underscored by the opening aria: Diana Ross singing the “Mahogany Theme.”

The days when the fashion pack will be able to gather in nightclubs to let off steam still seem distant. Instead, Chanel had friends from home like Margaret Qualley, Jennie Kim, Angela and G-Dragon who would log on remotely and help with the show’s countdown, while DJ Michel Gaubert spun tracks.

At the end of the film, the models overflowed from Castel in broad daylight and partied in the streets, joining Viard for a lap of honor on the rue Princesse. In these virtual times, the whole world is a stage.

Jerry C. Greiner