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Held at a usual Chanel spot — the Grand Palais Éphémère — the French House’s spring-summer 2023 Haute Couture collection is a continuation of creative director Virginie Viard’s spring-summer 2022 collection, unveiled exactly a year ago. In the words of the House “this new opus represents the third part of a triptych.”
In attendance at the presentation on Jan. 24 were Elvis director Baz Luhrman, and actresses Sadie Sink, Tilda Swinton, Marion Cotillard and Lucy Boynton. Apple Martin (Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s daughter), Vanessa Paradis, Charlotte Casiraghi, and Roger Federer were also sitting front row.
Starting almost on the dot, which can be unusual for fashion shows, the presentation began with large animal sculptures made from wood, cardboard and paper being pushed out into the center of the rectangular runway space, creating the feeling of a festive parade in a village square or sorts.
The inspiration for the collection is Gabrielle Chanel’s 31 rue Cambon apartment, where Viard had taken Xavier Veilhan, a French artist, to see a collection of art objects housed there including sculptures and drawings representing lions, does, stags, birds and camels. For the house’s third collaboration with the artists, Viard wanted Veilhan to recreate the apartment’s bestiary. “The whole embroidery universe of the collection is turned towards the animal world,” said Viard in show notes.
Models began to enter wearing quintessentially Chanel signature looks. Animals are embroidered onto coat dresses and short tweed suits have kittens, corgis, rabbits and swallows, does, stags and camellias. The Chanel suit went short this year, exposing legs.
Accessories ranged from top hats, bow ties and white gloves to laced boots and golden ankle boots with black toes reminiscent of 1920s Madison cap-toe boots that gangsters wore. Looks included satin capes, pleated skirts, double-breasted jackets (some with tails), tuxedo shirts, sequins, short shorts, and petticoats.
To close out the show, the finale bride was dressed in a gown with swallows embroidered on it. “I like it when the marvelous bursts forth and the course of events is interrupted,” continued Viard.
Chanel had two haute couture shows back-to-back today. One show doesn’t fit all the people that needs to see the collection, which shows a larger audience of buyers, media, international influencers, and friends of the house to see what Viard has created.
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