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Chanel took over Paramount Pictures Studios Tuesday night — bringing their signature tweed to Tinseltown for the French fashion house’s highly anticipated Cruise 2023/2024 show in Los Angeles.
The night attracted stars Kristen Stewart, Marion Cotillard, and Margot Robbie, who are Chanel ambassadors, in addition to Issa Rae, Tracee Ellis Ross, Rashida Jones, Paris Hilton, Camila Morrone, Kris Jenner, Rose Byrne, Lil Nas X, and a slew of others. With Hollywood in the midst of a writer’s strike, there’d been some confusion over protocol as to what constitutes crossing a picket line. However, the location — which was booked many months ago — was ultimately deemed neutral territory since Paramount wasn’t a sponsor or involved in any way with the event’s production.
An A-list star told The Hollywood Reporter that they were waiting to hear up until the last minute if it was okay to attend. While picketers weren’t present, there were folks handing out fliers about the strike nearby Paramount’s Melrose gate.
Once inside, the starry group was greeted by a chic California boardwalk-style celebration that included food trucks and spandex-clad roller skaters.
“What is this?” Ross excitedly said to Rashida Jones as the two made their way past a light installation and toward the alfresco event.
Elsewhere, Elle Fanning greeted Iris Apatow with hug. “You look so cute,” Fanning told her. Meanwhile, H.E.R. praised Christina Milian on her outfit. “I love it,” she said, referencing Milian’s red puffer jacket and black pants.
Milian returned the compliment. “Fabulous! I’ve got to catch the looks,” she said, filming H.E.R. on her camera phone. “She looks good.”
Influencer and Summer Fridays founder Marianna Hewitt also captured content for her 1.1 million Instagram followers — turning the camera on newlywed Sofia Richie, who wore multiple Chanel looks for her recent wedding to music exec Elliot Grainge in the South of France. Richie made her way around the event with her husband. “I’m obviously in Chanel,” she teased, doing a spin for Hewitt’s phone.
Just over an hour after doors opened, people took their seats for the show, which saw an area of the Paramount lot near the water tower transformed into a roller rink runway complete with a sporting scoreboard. Looming over the event, a large screen displayed an avant-garde, hypnotic Harmony Korine-esque film in which models exercised between monochromatic shots of palm trees and an open sky.
“I’ll see you after,” Fanning told Paris Hilton after the two parted ways to take their seats. Snoop Dogg — with his family in tow — was one of the final arrivals.
The label spared no expense in presenting its latest collection, which was filled with Chanel’s signature codes — many modernized with various twists courtesy of rhinestones, sequins, and cheery color combos beyond Chanel’s famously monochromatic palette.
The collection’s inspiration spanned a handful of decades. Per the show’s notes: “Los Angeles and a legendary studio at nightfall. Together, fashion and cinema lead us into a waking dream, nourished by an energetic invitation to step into the spotlight and never leave the dance floor. The time has come for the Cruise 2023/24 collection to unfold the multiple facets of its colourful, joyful and elegant world. From the glamour of the 1920s and 30s to the rhythm of the 1970s and 80s: the decades take centre stage, with smiles on their faces.”
Smiles indeed. The collection provided a playful, Cali-chic take on Chanel with rhinestone embellished mini-shorts and sequined jumpsuits, embroidered bustier tank tops, sixties-inspired suiting, luxe bathrobes and loungewear, thirties-style shoes with a disco element courtesy of lights, crêpe de chine and terrycloth pieces, embellished swimsuits, leg warmers, and delicate evening dresses.
The collection was part showgirl; part Barbie core pink; part glam fitness fanatic — and all perfect for the California crowd. Chanel creative director Virginie Viard shared in the show notes, “Between a tribute to the glamour of great film stars and evoking the world of fun to be had with aerobics, sports and roller skating, between the dream on one hand and what you want to wear on the other, it’s all a question of balance.”
Standout pieces included sumptuous metallic robes and delicate eveningwear featuring twenties silhouettes — unveiled just in time to see who steps out in what at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival.
The fashion house also introduced pieces in a variety of pinks and gold that, per notes, evoke “cinema’s halcyon age, its empress-like actresses, the bright lights of the projectors that illuminate them and the eternal Californian sunshine.”
A range of cheeky motifs — some literally, some figuratively — appeared on various pieces including palm trees, gold squares, black and gold chevrons, disco balls, milkshakes, roller skates, and sunsets with accessories featuring rhinestones, ombré shading, and metallic leathers.
“The idea is to offer a breath of fresh air, a voyage, a light-hearted and happy fantasy,” Viard said in the show notes.
Said actress Lucy Boynton after the show, “It was beautiful. It felt like such a celebration both of L.A. and of fashion. To see a house like Chanel bring that much life to clothes, it’s exciting. I loved it. It’s so magical visiting these lots. It’s such a time warp or a time portal back into old Hollywood and the genesis of the industry. People always draw correlations between costumes and fashion. The costuming process is integral for both the audience and the actor. For the audience to get a greater understanding of who that character is and for the actor to exit themselves and step into the identity of someone else, to get to celebrate the two worlds combining by having this fashion show in the studio lot feels magical.”
After the runway show, Snoop Dogg hit the stage for a set that brought the crowd to its feet. Marion Cotillard, with a glass of Champagne in hand, rapped along to “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang.”
“Ya’ll having a good time tonight?” he asked the crowd. “We’re going to turn this party up just a little bit the Chanel way. Shout out to my family in the house tonight. I’ve got my beautiful wife, my son, my daughter, my granddaughter, my father, some beautiful people in the house tonight.”
“Just to let ya’ll know…” he continued. “This is my first fashion show. So I’m going to bring the hood to the fashion show because this is how we do it in the hood. We do it just like this …” He then launched into his hit “The Next Episode.”
He later surprised the crowd by bringing Anderson .Paak onto the stage to perform “Smokin Out the Window.”
“Do you understand how big of a treat this is?” Anderson .Paak asked the audience. “Give it up for Snoop!” He then teased, “Ya’ll make some noise for Bruno Mars” before adding, “He’s not here. My bad.”
This is the second time Chanel has shown its resort collection on the West Coast. The house previously unveiled its Cruise 2007/08 show at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, where models emerged from Chanel-emblazoned jets. Chanel’s resort collections are famously shown in remote locations with the Cruise 2022/23 runway show staged at Monte-Carlo Beach in Monaco and replicated in Miami Beach last November.
True to tradition, the Cruise 2023/24 runway show’s production value was on par with any major film — which the French fashion house knows a thing or two about having contributed pieces to memorable film moments over the years including, according to a recent press release from the brand, Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie movie as well as this year’s Cannes Film Festival opening night film, Maïwenn’s Jeanne du Barry.
No question, Chanel and Hollywood have long been synonymous, but it’s safe to say the label is having a major moment. Earlier this month, Chanel played a large role as a sponsor of the Met Gala’s Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty– themed soiree, for which Gisele Bündchen and Nicole Kidman wore archival pieces from Lagerfeld’s decades-long career with the French fashion house. Shortly after, the label turned their attention to the West Coast with artwork created by André plastered around town — in the style of movie posters — teasing its runway show with celebrity names and cryptic messaging that read “One Night Only.”
A day ahead of the show, attendees were hand-delivered a bedazzled collector’s pouch and T-shirt specially designed for the Cruise 2023/24 show as well as invitations that mimicked the ubiquitous ads but personalized with each guest’s own name appearing alongside Robbie, Cotillard, and other celebrity headliners.
Chanel’s relationship with film runs deep. Beyond its partnerships with leading ladies, the brand’s Hollywood history dates back to its founder Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s collaboration with studio head Samuel Goldwyn’s on costumes for various United Artists films in 1931 including Mervyn LeRoy’s Tonight or Never, in which Chanel was tasked with designing actress Gloria Swanson’s wardrobe.
Current Chanel creative director Viard, who took the reigns at Chanel after Lagerfeld’s passing in 2019, also has Hollywood origins; she started her career as a costume designer for Oscar-nominated director Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors films with French actresses Juliette Binoche and Julie Delpy.
For its part, the brand has collaborated with filmmakers like Baz Luhrmann and Sofia Coppola on advertisements, while it often patronizes the arts through long-term partnerships. Chanel has hosted the Tribeca Film Festival’s female mentorship series, Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program, for the past 15 years.
It also more recently launched the Chanel Women Writer’s Network with the Toronto Film Festival for women and non-binary writers in Canada; First Frame, a film series spotlighting projects by female filmmakers, at First International Film Festival in Xining, Mainland China; the Chanel Award for Best Woman in Film at the Busan International Film Festival in Korea; and has partnered with the Dakar Court festival held in association with the French Institute of Senegal in Dakar.
However, perhaps most notably Chanel recently partnered with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on the Academy Gold Fellowship for Women program in addition to their support of the current Academy exhibit featuring a retrospective of director Agnès Varda’s work. Among the guests last night at the show were AMPAS president Janet Yang and its CEO Bill Kramer.
Not so coincidentally, the Cruise 2023/24 show’s timing also coincided with the May 5 unveiling of Chanel’s largest boutique in the United States. Located in a new building erected on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, the Peter Marino-designed, 30,000 square-foot space has four floors with unique details like a sculpture comprised of 215 hand-blown glass beads inspired by Chanel’s use of pearls.
With the label’s ready-to-wear featured on the boutique’s ground floor, it’s only a matter of time before the label’s new resort designs take center stage for the general public’s private viewing.
Boynton for one can’t wait. “I cannot stop talking about the light up shoes,” she said. “I would wear them everywhere — with some of those very seventies outfits and the multicolored ones. There’s nowhere I wouldn’t wear light up shoes — especially by Chanel.”
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