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Sneak peek into Chanel’s fall-winter 2021/22 haute couture collection

It’s an impressionist expression of sartorial aplomb

Anannya Sarkar Published 20.07.21, 01:41 AM

Sourced by the correspondent

“It was when I rediscovered these portraits of Gabrielle Chanel dressed up in black or white 1880s-style dresses, that I immediately thought about tableaux. Works by Berthe Morisot, Marie Laurencin and Édouard Manet. There are impressionist-inspired dresses, skirts that look like paintings and a long white satin dress punctuated with black bows like Morisot’s...” said Virginie Viard, the quiet and brilliant creative force behind the iconic design house of Chanel. As the world cautiously starts heading out again, what Viard presented at their fall-winter 2021/22 haute couture collection was a painting coloured by optimism.

Showcased at the iconic Palais Galliera, City of Paris Fashion Museum — where an exhibition dedicated to Gabrielle Chanel was on — the collection saw a chiaroscuro of gorgeous colours on beautiful designs against the pale colours of the venue play out like an Impressionist work of art. The silhouettes ranged from classic to contemporary with chic tailoring playing out in tandem with an exaggerated shoulder here and a cowl-drape on a pair of trousers there. Tweed in all its Chanel glory and multiple colours were paired with blouses and tiered skirts.


“There are dresses embroidered with water lilies, a jacket in black tweed crafted from feathers with red and pink flowers. I was also thinking about English gardens. I like to mix a touch of England with a very French style. It’s like blending the masculine and the feminine, which is what I’ve done with this collection too. That twist is very much a part of who I am,” explained Viard.

Pantsuits, pencil skirts, dresses and overcoats dotted the show, as if to suggest that time was nigh to ditch our loungewear and to finally step out with sartorial aplomb — the colour and style are yours to pick. “Like an Impressionist painting, the sequinned tweed of a coat seems to be made up of a multitude of paint strokes. Blouses embroidered with mauve and pink sequinned motifs, or with little red, blue and yellow daisies on a black background, are tucked into low-waisted skirts in multicolour striped tweed. Pale pink and yellow tulle pompoms embellish a black paletot jacket, just like splashes of paint…” read the press note from Chanel.

As if in a doff of hat to the hybrid world of the virtual and real that we mostly dwell in now, a teaser film by Sofia Coppola was released before, where Chanel ambassador Margaret Qualley (picture right) was shown “in a jacket and A-line skirt in multicolour tweed over a bustier in pink broderie anglaise”.

Meanwhile, the best was kept for the last as in walked Qualley, beaming in a wedding dress as she added an element of romance and candour, holding a beautiful bunch of colourful flowers. The show that we watched virtually felt like a chic, gorgeous expression of joie de vivre that we have been forced to restrain for over a year but maybe, it’s finally time to live again, albeit cautiously.

Pictures courtesy: Chanel

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