by Alain Chivilò
Wonderwall is one of Oasis’ best hits. From Manchester to Manchester over the different decades of our lives. Today, creative director Virginie Viard’s 2023/24 Métiers d’art collection for Chanel is tout simplement magnifique.
The set is cinematic with that asphalt and stones still damp from the recent rain. The atmosphere is British, where it’s raining outside, in a catwalk located north of Manchester on Thomas Street with a sunset that opens in the dark clouds after intermittent showers.
“For me Manchester is the City of Music. It incites creation” said Viard in the instants before the presentation.
The collection is full of 72 looks, within each one it is possible to write a small creative story. Each item has been studied down to the smallest detail and nothing has been left to chance.
It is not necessary to seek transparency as mainstream, because they are in the dress as such which outlines the personality of the one who wears it. From the colours, to the fabrics, to the embroidery, to the accessories divided between necklaces, belts, bracelets and bags: a riot of creativity.
The king fabric is Tweed which was developed with the maximum creativity that a collection could present. Everything could be in Viard’s statement: “Tweed is central to this collection. I thought a lot about Gabrielle Chanel but I didn’t want to recreate Coco’s look, when she was wearing the Duke of Westminster’s jackets. I took my cue from the Coco who brought colour to her tweeds. I added a vibrant, pop spirit to them”.
It could all be in Viard’s statement: “Tweed is central to this collection. I thought a lot about Gabrielle Chanel but I didn’t want to recreate Coco’s look, when she wore the Duke of Westminster’s jackets. I took inspiration from the Coco collection which gave color to his tweeds. I added a vibrant, pop spirit to them”.
Tweed but also leather and jeans are between the Sixties and a soul divided in pop melody and rock, female sensuality opens up in multiple personalities. Clothes are the main subject that animates and dresses women. The collection places centrality on the dress.
The color palette is extremely delicate, between brighter and pale colours. Apple green, pumpkin, red, sky blue, mustard, rust and salmon pink.
The British air is present with Shetland and cashmere knitwear, Bermuda shorts, miniskirts with godets, wrap skirts, shirts with the underlying tweed fabric. The very eye-catching Manchester logo will be a best seller for women in the city but also in the world, together with the historic two crossed and opposite Cs.
The accessories are very refined from the bracelets, to the inevitable Chanel necklaces, to the threads around the neck and to a delicate belt motif that at hip level gives rhythm to the dress. Pearls, gold foil, precious stones are some materials that accompany the garments.
Among the decorative elements that embellish the dress are flowers, vinyl records, teapots, feathers, embroidery and jewel buttons.
A camouflage revisitation was proposed in various garments giving a lively touch to the dress. The coat is present, the chains on the bottom of the jackets, the waist of the skirt is slightly low on the hips, skirts in the upper part is of the same fabric as the inside of coats and jackets, the contrasting inner fabrics.
All the outfits showed are in charge. Virginie Viard for Chanel created one of the best Métiers d’art collections but, at the same time, she surpassed those in Autumn-Winter and Spring-Summer where the boundaries between the various runway show presentations cross together with also the capsule. The Chanel Fashion House, starting from its heritage, presents itself as a winner, but above all – as interesting note – it places the French Creative Director at top levels alongside for example Karl Lagerfeld, Gianni Versace, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior until Coco Chanel.
The 2023 – 24 Métiers d’art Chanel, Manchester Show
©AC, NDSL, AM, Alain Chivilo