The eternally chic Parisienne has long captivated the collective consciousness of the fashion world and those who wish to possess the seemingly easy elegance she so effortlessly conveys. One might say Gabrielle Chanel herself was the original gamine. Expertly mixing the masculine and the feminine, she breathed new life into the stayed world of high fashion and created a legacy that continues to inspire. Virginie Viard, Artistic Director of the Fashion collections for the House of CHANEL has tapped into that very legacy and intertwined it with the sartorial stylings of the Nouvelle Vague or French New Wave for the Spring-Summer 2020 Prêt-à-Porter collection.
Slim-hipped and long-legged models strode down the rooftop inspired runway under the soaring nave of the Grand Palais. Inspired by the famous zinc rooftops of Paris, the collection featured a color palette of anthracite as well as vibrant red, orange, pink, and blue alongside classic CHANEL tones of black, white and beige. Delicate fabrications like printed chiffon, organza, silk twill, play perfectly against denim, wool crepe, and tweed. Viard expertly plays with proportion for Spring-Summer 2020. Balloon sleeves and voluminous skirts pair beautifully alongside slim capri pants and the shortened hemline of the playsuits, and little dresses that are also found within the collection. The iconic CHANEL suit is reimagined with flounced collars and cuffs and a shortened skirt length. For evening, there are elegant long dresses that echo the original uncorseted styles that Mademoiselle Chanel popularized in the 1920s and 30s to great acclaim, yet still feel fresh and full of modernity. Trim little coat dresses, with the perfect hint of “borrowed from the garçons” styling, were one of the standouts of an all-together divine collection. And on the subject of divine, the demi-couture finishings found throughout the collection were nothing short of artwork. Braids, trimmings of two-tone grosgrain, delicate embroidery, sequins, pleating, and more only serve to highlight the incredible artistry that goes into the creation of a CHANEL garment.
I have to say, I truly love the direction in which that Virginie Viard seems to be taking the House of CHANEL. She clearly has a reverential respect for the DNA of the House and its incredible history that has been so greatly impacted by both Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld. Expertly weaving this weighty legacy with her own fresh take on the modern CHANEL woman, Viard creates pieces that seem to be infused with the elegance and refinement of the Rive Droit and the artistic irreverence of the Rive Gauche.
Lest you think I have left out the incredible accessories that make up the CHANEL Spring-Summer 2020 Prêt-à-Porter collection, stay tuned for next Monday’s post. I’ll be giving you a detailed and exclusive look at the bags, shoes, and bijoux that were shown as part of the collection.