Cover Photo: Courtesy of Chanel

Creative director Virginie Viard presented a flirty collection in Paris yesterday at the Grand Palais Éphémère

It was a slightly strange sensation entering a Chanel show that wasn’t set under the glass ceilings of the Grand Palais, which is currently under renovation until 2024. The torrential storm that has been plaguing Paris Fashion Week also has not helped either, but nothing could dampen the mood of show-goers who eagerly piled into the Grand Palais Éphémère, just down the road from the Eiffel Tower to see what creative director Virginie Viard had in store.

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Like her peers this season, she put forth a bouncy collection, youthful in aesthetic but steeped in nostalgia for shows past. A small runway with photographers crammed around the edges split a darkened room; the set up reminiscent of the intimate shows of decades past. Says Viard in the collection text: “I used to love the sound of flashbulbs going off at the shows in the Eighties, when the models were on a raised runway. I wanted to recapture that emotion.”

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The clothes, too, were a nod to simpler times—sleek bathing suits in gold or white trimmings reminded audiences of Hollywood celebrities lounging on the rocky beaches of Cannes. Then there were the crispy, leather looks with cut-outs at the waist, and elegant, powder grey shirt-dresses. The Maison’s classic tweed was given a technicolour treatment in stripes and logo print, until finally, the collection bloomed into a finale filled with butterfly chiffon gowns.

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As for the accessories, the big shopper totes and soft quilted bags remain focuses while the flared heels and the buckles of the Mary-Janes and sandals “remind us of pirate shoes,” Virginie Viard says. “I always like to have something romantic. A touch of mystery.”

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