Chanel debuts their autumn-winter 2021/22 collection at Palais Galliera, the City of Paris Fashion Museum

The starting point to Chanel's latest haute couture collection is Virginie Viard's discovery of portraits of Gabrielle Chanel dressed up in black or white 1880s-style dresses. From there, the creative director immediately conceptualising a new collection inspired by tableaux or paintings. Inspired by works of Berthe Morisot, Marie Laurencin and Édouard Manet, she presents retrospective pieces that reimagine the Impressionist movement, from the paintings and patterns to the silhouettes of eras past, in Chanel's signature style. 

It thus made perfect sense for this show to be held at the iconic museum of art and fashion Palais Galliera, where the exhibition dedicated to Gabrielle Chanel continues. 

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“Because I love seeing colour in the greyness of winter,” says Virginie Viard. “I really wanted a particularly colourful collection that was very embroidered, something warm.”

Chanel's haute couture collection is bursting with colour, channeling the beautiful landscape of English gardens and transporting us into the natural world of Impressionist paintings. Dresses are embroidered with sequinned flowers, coats are splashed with bold reds and kaleidoscopic motifs and a black paletot jacket is accented with pale pink and yellow tulle pompoms. 

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In true Chanel fashion, the haute collection sees a blurring between masculine and feminine elements, something that Viard has explored in her previous punk-inspired creations and pieces that pay homage to the late Chanel muse and supermodel known for her androgynous style, Stella Tennant. "That twist is very much a part of who I am," she says. 

In this collection, Viard reconstitutes tweed from strands of tulle and ribbon, adding a softness to the iconic fabric. Vintage bloomers, lace camisoles, bustiers and slip dresses come into play while classic tweed jackets are paired with billowing skirts or accented with feathers and flowers.

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Actress Margaret Qualley ended the show in a bridal look that channels the 1930s portrait sketch of Gabrielle Chanel that hangs in the Chanel studio. She wears a soft pink satin dress and a face-covering veil dotted with sequins, sitting atop a ribboned pillbox hat.

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Above Chanel Fall-Winter 2021/22 Haute Couture Show