The starting point of the Spring-Summer 2023 Haute Couture collection is Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment at 31, rue Cambon. It is the place where Virginie Viard took Xavier Veilhan at the very beginning of their work, and which includes a collection of objects, sculptures, drawings representing lions, does, stags, birds and camels. “For his third participation, I asked him to reinterpret the apartment’s bestiary and incorporate his own,” she says. “The whole embroidery universe of the collection is turned towards the animal world.”
Embroidered on short tweed suits and coat dresses, kittens, corgis, rabbits and swallows share the limelight with the does, stags or camellias emblematic of the House.
As if on a village square, a festive parade is being prepared and sets off. Eleven monumental animals made of wood, cardboard and paper created by Xavier Veilhan hide models, and then open to let them escape. “I like it when the marvellous bursts forth and the course of events is interrupted,” she continues.
The CHANEL suit borrows its codes from the female uniforms of parades and spectacles. Top hat, bow tie, white gloves, laced boots, satin cape, pleated skirt, jackets double-breasted or with tails, tuxedo shirt, sequins, short shorts, petticoats: it is in the poetry of majorettes that Virginie Viard also finds her inspiration.
Dresses and jumpsuits all in lightness and refinement, superpositions, transparencies, flounces, pleats, fine straps and repainted laces, are crafted in silk tulle, taffeta, organza, georgette crepe and chantilly lace.
And as in every beautiful story, the Spring-Summer 2023 Haute Couture collection, with its fairy parade, closes with the bride in a dress embroidered with swallows.