With the American actress Margaret Qualley in a wedding dress as her last haute couture look, Chanel returned to the parade in Paris, without giving up the collection film directed by Sofia Coppola.
The Palais Galliera served as the setting for the haute couture fall-winter 2021-22 collection. Guests gathered in the courtyard of the Palace, framed by columns, were able to try to catch the bouquet thrown by Margaret Qualley (Pussycat in Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood, by Quentin Tarantino), in a long dress with clean lines and topped with a veil. The wedding dress traditionally ends every haute couture show.
The collection was unveiled in a film, a format to which fashion was constrained for several months, a consequence of the Covid-19 health crisis. Few houses returned this season to physical parades (there are only 7), the majority preferred to continue with creative videos. Chanel, for her part, opted for both, entrusting the film to the American director Sofia Coppola who had already collaborated on several occasions with the French house. In a video – also shot at the Palais Galliera – she features Margaret Qualley (daughter of actress Andy MacDowell) in the flagship outfits of the collection.
“I think that we will have both, we will never give up the double distribution. It is an important moment and we saw that it interested many of our customers around the world”, Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion activities at Chanel, told AFP.
For the house, this is the first parade in decades outside the Grand Palais, closed for renovations. “It’s a bit limited in number of places but it’s perfect for haute couture, this proximity to models, this quite exceptional natural setting”, says Bruno Pavlovsky.
The artistic director Virginie Viard “has just added its stone to the building, its vision of the brand, very current very modern”, he adds. Impressionist-inspired dresses, skirts-paintings, a white satin dress punctuated with black bows: Virginie Viard says she is guided by the paintings of Berthe Morisot, Marie Laurencin and Édouard Manet for this collection.
Unusually colored with shades of orange, mauve, green and yellow, it contrasts with Chanel’s traditional black-white-beige. “I love the colors in the grayness of winter (…) I wanted a particularly colorful collection, very embroidered, something warm”, she explains in the parade intention note.
The banana braid that most models wear and the smoky eye bring a punk touch to the frilled dresses and tweed suits, accessorized with pumps. Semi-transparent nighties and pajamas are worn as evening wear. Blouses embroidered with mauve and pink sequins slip into low-waisted skirts in multicolored striped tweed, pale pink and yellow tulle pom poms adorn a black overcoat.
Some embroidery evokes the English garden. “I like to mix a touch of England with a very French style. It’s like mixing the masculine and the feminine (…) This shift is part of me”, emphasizes Virginie Viard.