Set against the backdrop of an elegant Beaux-Arts train station brought to life in the Nave of the Grand Palais, the CHANEL Cruise 2019/2020 collection was both a celebration of the heritage of the grand House and a first look at the direction that this famed Maison will be heading in under the direction of its recently appointed Artistic Director, Virginie Viard. How very fitting that the scene was set for the collection with this notion of movement, exploration, and elegance. Madam Viard beautifully executed a collection that shows the exciting promise of her direction as the first female head of CHANEL since Mademoiselle Chanel herself.
While drawing deeply from the archives of the CHANEL universe, there was something decidedly fresh and uniquely feminine about Viard’s first collection for CHANEL. Beloved emblems like camellias and tweed, as well as iconic pieces like the CHANEL jacket and chain featured throughout. Yet one can’t help but feel as if they are viewing something new for the House. This mix of modernity and heritage is something that has come to be expected from the House of CHANEL, so it is with great joy that we are seeing this continued under Virginie Viard’s direction. The collection is that illusive combination of effortless and elegant – something that French women seem to be able to achieve so easily. With a hint of “borrowed from the boys” sensibility and styling, the pieces that make up the CHANEL Cruise 2019/2020 collection might just be some of my favorite ready-to-wear garments yet. I know, these are heavy words coming from a CHANEL fanatic such as myself.
Inspired by the joyful experience of travel and exploration, the collection is an homage to the classic CHANEL woman. The woman who is not afraid to be herself, who is unapologetically feminine, yet unencumbered by expectations and norms. A riotous palette of brilliant pink, green, cobalt, mauve, and fuchsia play beautifully against the classic CHANEL tones of black, ecru, white, and navy. Pastel hues, bold brights, and elegant neutrals come together harmoniously along with prints of foliage. Jersey, tweed, garbardine, waxed cotton add a masculine touch against more delicate fabrications of chiffon, broderie anglaise, satin, linen, and lace. This juxtaposition of the bold and the delicate is found throughout the collection and is so perfectly in-line with the House’s code of mixing the masculine and the feminine. The iconic CHANEL suit is imagined anew for the Cruise 2019/2020 collection shown with jersey leggings, mini-skirts, trapeze skirts, and lengthened knickerbockers. Jackets are shown with either two, four, or six pockets, and both with and without a collar, and with shoulders both rounded and soft. For evening, sheath dresses that evoke the elegant ease of Mademoiselle Chanel’s earliest designs are true standouts of the collection. Embroidered with flowers and sequins and adorned with the famous CHANEL chain, these pieces are just a few shining examples of the House’s legendary savoir-faire.
As for accessories, they did not disappoint. I’ll be sharing a more detailed look at the gorgeous bags, shoes, jewelry, and hair adornments that so beautifully accompanied the clothing of the CHANEL Cruise 2019/2020 collection later this week. You absolutely won’t want to miss it darlings!