This season CHANEL invites its guests on an imaginary journey. The Nave of the Grand Palais has been transformed into a Parisian train station in the Beaux-Arts style, complete with its platforms and its own elegant café-restaurant Le Riviera. Instigator of this beautiful escapade, Virginie Viard writes a travel story untouched by time, as the whistle blows to signal the departure for joyful, sunnier climes. The CHANEL allure and vocabulary take on the theme of a silhouette in motion, both strong and bursting with subtle delicateness.
Alongside the iconic black, ecru and white, a brilliant palette of pink, green, blue, fuchsia, mauve and sky clashes with deep bistre and mocha browns, navy and cobalt blues. Pastel hues blend with one another, as foliage printed on a blue or fuchsia background is seemingly caught in mid-air, like a landscape blurred by the speed of a train. Pink and blue sequins fall into line, accumulating like the holes punched into tickets. Embroideries of flowers, sequined or cut from silk, tulle and rhodoid, compose a garden at the heart of which the camellia majestically blossoms.
Comfort and functionality, a rightful simplicity and obvious elegance to come and go in, to travel in, to live in and to be oneself without hindrance. CHANEL’s style rule guides each design in the new Cruise collection. Jackets and wide trousers with double buttons in gabardine or in waxed cotton draw inspiration from workmen’s uniforms. Their variations as hooded trench coats or amply cut coats gathered at the waist are sometimes feminised with a chain belt and a cotton blouse with a large flounced jabot. A modernity accentuated by pointed pumps, two-tone booties with small conic heels and ballerinas in tweed.
Emblematic of a line that liberates gestures as much as the allure, the CHANEL tweed jacket imposes its timeless modernity: with two, four or six pockets, with or without a collar, the shoulders soft and rounded, or, on the contrary, square and responsive, trimmed with braid, short or long, single or double breasted with draped panels, belted with a chain interlaced with leather, it focuses on the waist or offers a straighter line. The incarnation of the House’s savoir-faire, down to the smallest detail, here the jacket hides a silk interior that prolongs the pattern of woven tweed in a perfect continuity, rendering its lining edge to edge flush, it comes veiled in chiffon at the collar and cuffs, or appliqued with buttons that grow as the pockets broaden. Occasionally an embroidered handkerchief escapes. The emblematic chain is found at the bottom of the lining as the ultimate touch of CHANEL’s eternal refinement… Beneath the jackets, chiffon vests are embroidered with flowers, bandeau tops in poplin are fastened with a bow over the chest, bustiers shimmer with sequins and sparkling flowers. Alternating with jersey leggings, the mini-skirts, trapeze skirts and lengthened knickerbockers are made in tweed, for a new vision of the iconic suit. Coupled with trousers in leather or hessian, tweed also features on tops embellished with sequins or enhanced with a wide ruffled organdie collar.
The dresses are drawn out in the sophisticated simplicity of a brushstroke. Their pure lines liberate the body without becoming detached from it, evoking imperceptible volumes. An exquisite femininity highlighted by bias cuts, an asymmetric shoulder, wraparound panels, ethereal flounces or plunging necklines. Braids and bows in satin, white camellias worn as brooches, ladder lace like train tracks, ornate finishes reminiscent of bygone linens and removable Bertha collars in organdie all reinforce the charm.
There’s a joyful frivolity with the ruffled skirts in check printed chiffon, the strappy dresses in fuchsia or blue chiffons with plant motifs. Gathered and ironed by hand, their diaphanous panels seem ready to lift on a breeze when descending from the train. An innocent grace radiates from the asymmetric dresses in linen and organdie, veiled with a removable Bertha collar also in organdie. The same softness diffuses over the long dresses in black broderie anglaise.
For evening, white and black aprons become sheath dresses with removable shirt collars, hemmed with the CHANEL chain or embroidered with flowers. Open over a bandeau with a big bow, the rigour of a man’s shirt with a pleated plastron is eased by the fabric choice of transparent organdie. Worn with a wide-cut hessian trousers, a masculine shirt in poplin is transformed into a backless top, ruffled with a smocked high waist. The expected bow tie is replaced with a knotted satin ribbon finished with a camellia. A sheath dress in black linen is embroidered with sequins that capture the colours of the night and the Moon reflected in the windows of a train, while another is swathed in bouquets of pink sequinned flowers. Continuing this journey, Virginie Viard imagines a long dress in white lace embellished with gold thread, and a second in midnight blue lace with a low neckline revealing a big black satin bow. The Artistic Director tenderly deconstructs the mechanisms of station clocks: their dials are multiplied to infinity in the navy blue guipure lace of a long dress while their deconstructed hands and indices are embroidered onto the neckline of another dress in white lace.
Inseparable from the elegance of CHANEL, jewellery is added to silhouettes for both day and night: hoop and pendant earrings in metal are set with strass, bracelets have coloured cabochons, and cuff bracelets are beaded, set with chains and leather, or come in resin and stones. Travel flasks in metal are mischievously slipped into quilted leather cases with a chain strap. As for the 11.12 bags, they adopt a patent quilted leather and tweed embroidered with flowers or are equipped with a handle. The CHANEL 19 bag comes in quilted jersey and the CHANEL 31 bag is back in faded denim. For travelling, the overnight bags in denim or leather, a maxi duffle bag with pockets and a “3-part” backpack, as well as the hip packs in tricolour leather and the multifunctional clutches all ensure transportation in complete liberty. An extremely refined cushion clutch in white cotton is embroidered with clocks while the railroader’s lamp becomes a minaudière in rhinestoned resin.
With this collection, Virginie Viard continues the story of CHANEL and travel by delivering her own fresh, delicate vision. Following in the tradition of Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld, she shapes a look where sophistication is built on the purity and exactitude of detail.
The CHANEL ambassadors Anna Mouglalis, Caroline de Maigret, Laura Bailey, Charlotte Cardin, Vanessa Paradis, Lily-Rose Depp, Gaspard Ulliel, Keira Knightley, Nana Komatsu, Liu Wen and William Chan as well as the actress Ali MacGraw and the model Claudia Schiffer all attended the CHANEL 2019/20 Cruise runway show this Friday May 3rd 2019.