Virginie Viard has recreated the spirit of 31 rue Cambon in Paris to present her Métiers d’art 2019/20 collection. This emblematic address, the heart of Chanel’s creative world of Fashion, has been reconstructed under the nave of the Grand Palais, transformed for the occasion into a space over which time has no dominion.
Before discovering the collection designed by Virginie Viard, the guests were able to linger for a while in a replica of Mademoiselle Chanel’s apartment. It was to this intimate baroque space, full of memories, books and cherished objects, that Gabrielle Chanel loved to return to clear her mind. The guests then sat down in a reconstitution of the salons at 31 rue Cambon, which used to host Chanel’s first fashion shows. In this unique venue, the models descended the legendary staircase with its Art Deco mirrors and beige steps edged in white. An extremely refined écrin for a collection that highlights the codes and the Chanel allure.
Among the most emblematic of Chanel codes, the contrast of black and white plays out with contemporary, graphic impact. Linear paneling speaks to the precise tailoring of jackets and suggests new pattern constructions. Gallon braid adorning skirts marks the symmetry of the silhouette.
Inspired by a suit with tie-dye lining created by Gabrielle Chanel in 1960, the handcrafted treatment introduces an unexpected painterly effect to tweed and other fine fabrics. Each application – whether a suit and matching bag in vivid tones blended with black, a multi-color cloqué silk T-shirt, or a feather-trimmed chiffon dress in soft sunset shades – showcases a unique artistic approach.
A spectrum of silhouettes in pink presents a chromatic addition to the Chanel codes. Whether as a light coral trouser suit or a fuchsia satin dress, the color shifts freely from soft to saturated, as though exploring its full potential. With garnet tweed and apricot knit as complementary hues, pink is well-suited to the signature black-and-white repertoire.
A series of jewel-like dresses express savoir-faire and splendor in equal measure. Whether in the finest gold lace or ornamented with swirls of pearls and precious stones, these silhouettes transcribe Parisian elegance with all-over shine. Regal in beauty, they correspond gracefully to the movement of the body.
Floor-length silhouettes in tones of ecru silk reinterpret glamour across the ages with new fluidity. At once refined and relaxed, each construction of shirt, pants or dress highlights the contours of the body through lightness and movement. The addition of an embroidered sweat that reads 31 rue Cambon portrays the mythic address with a sense of play. Layered with an accumulation of costume jewellery, these silhouettes are timelessly emblematic of the Chanel allure.
The embroideries and jewels that were so distinctive to Gabrielle Chanel’s early creations are revisited by Virginie Viard with an eye to today. Exquisitely executed by the Houses of Lesage and Montex, the belt embroideries on black coats bring lustrous focus to the waist – a counterpoint to the rounder shapes. Sumptuous with a nonchalant spirit, they establish the overarching attitude of this collection.
After the show, friends and ambassadors of the House met up at ‘La Coupole’. The dinner was followed by a piano performance by Belgian singer Angèle and an after-party at ‘Le Dancing’.
Photos and video: Courtesy of Chanel