Chanel back in Gabrielle

by Alain Chivilò


Gabrielle Chanel’s Heritage lives and is always present. Deauville on the sea where in 1912 a style took off.

“It’s a very warm collection, with layers of materials, colours and volumes”. Stated Creative Director Virginie Viard, “It pays tribute to Deauville, the legendary place where Gabrielle Chanel’s destiny changed forever”.

The show, now a major live happening, moved on mega screens that moved from choreography to scenes taken on the beach and on the boradwalk of the Normandy town. Overlays of images between films and models that intersected on different scales. From dawn to dusk for life shots.

As per preview, women’s sun hat with an extra wide brim worn upwards with a pin, tartan caps. Moreover in the show precious jewelery in Chanel necklaces, with the house logo, a four-leaf clover and a Greek cross for example. A ribbon falls from her hair to rest on her shoulders in light and dark colors. Inevitable bags, colored silk scarves, knee-high heeled boots and high sheepskin boots.

73 looks in a collection divided between androgynous and cinematic. In leather in an enveloping jumpsuit model, a jacket and skirt combination. Not only that, chunky sailor sweaters and knits with the landscapes of Deauville alternate with silk blouses with middy collars, jumpsuits and negligees whose delicacy evokes gentle waves breaking and a soft wind blowing, herringbone prints and low-cut tops with flounces.

The homage created is delicate and the shades move within this approach. From pastel to brighter tones including light blue, orange, mauve, pink, white, black, brown and golden lamé. References to the skies, between the city and the sea, at different stages of the day for a unique palette.

The tartan motif is present with always lively and fresh variations to give the dress liveliness. Furthermore, drop front trousers or trousers with tabs at the back, broad shouldered peacoats and long dressing gown style belted coats are worn over tweed suits, box pleated skirts, culottes or cropped trousers.

The palette takes its vibrant or pastel shades of pink, mauve, orange and light blue from the ever-changing colors of the Deauville sky, along with brown and golden lamé. 

Geometric motifs, with the house logo and Coco’s name, as well as pieces of film in delicate shades. Denim present in some looks and colorful finishes on black dresses for greater liveliness. A bow, precious inserts and seagull prints on a sea background.

Virginie Viard brings women for the next cold season into romantic atmospheres between past and present. Not all of us are stars like Penélope Cruz and Brad Pitt but, any rooms is always possible to ask. From the movie A Man and a Woman by French director Claude Lelouch in 1966 until today, we are in the end still a man and a woman.


©AC, NDSL, AM, Alain Chivilo

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