Chanel’s collection paid homage to the epitome of French style, with brand ambassador Caroline de Maigret leading the way.
The fashion world held its breath as the Chanel Haute Couture Fall Winter 2023-2024 collection took centre stage amidst the backdrop of social unrest in Paris. Against the protests and riots triggered by recent events, Chanel’s creative director, Virginie Viard, orchestrated a show that celebrated the timeless elegance of Parisienne. While the divide between the runway and reality became stark, the collection managed to capture the essence of quiet luxury, embodying resilience in the face of adversity. A Simplicity and Elegance Paradigm In a conscious nod to the tumultuous times, Virginie Viard embraced simplicity and elegance in her designs. Aware of the outdoor setting, Viard expressed her desire for the collection to exude an understated charm. The models paraded on pink-painted cobblestones along the Seine, with the iconic Eiffel Tower forming a picturesque backdrop. The ballgowns were intentionally restrained, allowing the focus to shift to the allure of the Parisienne.
Playing with paradoxes, contrasts, nonchalance, and elegance, in the words of designer Virginie Viard, was like walking a tightrope between power and delicacy, which reflected the precise definition of allure by Coco Chanel. The selected appearance, literary interests, viewpoints, and general way of life of the Parisienne were carefully investigated. She functioned as a remarkable role model, motivating and influencing others whether via resistance or emulation. Her seductive charm also permeated the worlds of literature, music, and film in addition to fashion collections.
“Playing with opposites and contrasts, with nonchalance and elegance, is like standing on a line between strength and delicacy, which, at CHANEL, is what we call allure,” Viard explained.
The magnificent Seine River and bustling streets of Paris, the city of love, provided the ideal, symbolic setting for a Haute Couture presentation that created a lasting impression. Vanessa Paradis has served as CHANEL’s longtime brand ambassador, and Virginie Viard’s Fall/Winter 2023/2024 Haute collection was a perfect tribute to the Parisienne’s sensibility and charm.
“If we’re in Paris,” she added, “and this time we’re in Paris itself, on the quayside. The street and the colourful paving stones call for both sophistication and simplicity.” To imagine an Haute Couture show on the banks of the Seine, with Vanessa Paradis as the embodiment of Parisienne allure, was like a journey through a world of images and emotions, permanence and beauty.
The collection captured a range of delicate yet daring styles and allure using luxurious tweeds, ethereal silk chiffons, exquisite organza, and intricate lace – all of which offered a glimpse into a rich, feminine creative universe that captured the very essence of what it means to be a Parisienne.
The Fall-Winter 2023/24 Haute Couture collection by Virginie Viard featured an assortment of stunning pieces, including long, masculine-inspired overcoats, diaphanous blouses cinched at the waist over flat-pleated golden tweed skirts, precious vest tops, pin-striped trousers and men’s waistcoats, a majestic long black chiffon dress that’s light as air, and painted eyewear, all perfectly complimented by two-tone Mary-Janes.
To add a touch of whimsy to the collection, models elegantly strolled down the runway carrying wicker baskets bursting with blooming flowers, even accompanied by a four-legged friend. The designs showcased an enchanting combination of layered and hyper-realistic floral sequins adorning tiered dresses, radiant appliqués featuring fruit motifs intricately woven into crochets and knits, pristine boater hats, a charming pink belted coat dress, and a striking golden embossed skirt suit that exuded a distinct youthful vibe. Described by Viard herself, this collection embodied a truly captivating essence.
This collection seamlessly blended the elements of CHANEL’s classic codes of rigor and asymmetry while exploring an array of discreet and vibrant colours, exuding confidence, and subtlety. It also emphasized the importance of conveying emotions, fusing unlikely elements, and approaching things in one’s own unique way, all while dreaming. “Handing down emotions, bringing the most unlikely elements together, doing things your own way, just dreaming.”