Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
This morning from a stark white tent parted for fashion, Chanel presented its haute couture Spring/Summer 2021 collection at the Grand Palais in Paris. Imagined by Virginie Viard, the inventive new pieces were brought to life through a film and photographs by the house and one special guest—the Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn.
With strict COVID-19 guidelines still in place, the show only saw a handful of special guests spread throughout the space, including some ambassadors and friends of the house like Penélope Cruz, Izïa Higelin, Marion Cotillard, Lily-Rose Depp, Vanessa Paradis, Joana Preiss, and Alma Jodorowsky.
Before models paraded around the space in the house’s new designs, each noteworthy attendee was captured in a portrait series by Corbijn at Chanel's haute couture ateliers at 31 rue Cambon, and revealed in an intimate series of black and white images. (These images also show a brief look into the atelier’s recent redecoration inspired by the spirit of Gabrielle Chanel, executed by interior designer Jacques Grange and inaugurated this month.)
For the show, Chanel also entrusted Corbijn to create a film that viewers could watch from their homes around the world. At first, our attention was drawn to the theater-in-the-round set wedding party-inspired set. The arena-style atmosphere was anchored by a parted white tent in the distance, delicately trimmed with strung bulb lights. Lush green arches dotted with fresh pastel florals filled the middle ground, and its petals filled the pathways. Framing the circular set were wooden platforms and a small, socially distanced audience perched atop wooden chairs. Other seats were carefully reserved with single-stem flowers.
From the film, we watched models exit the tent in one large casual group, briskly walking to the tune of “Be My Baby” by Linda Ronstadt. The black and white frame captured their romantic moves, showing dynamic materials in contrast to one another. As the women split off, each circled to the left or right and back to the tent before dissolving into its part. With energy and theme anew, the women reemerged in arresting color, walking to “Chemz” by Burial. Flower crowns atop their heads bloomed in bright hues of pink and purple, joined by looks equally as vivid.
A quarter-length cream lace top with puffed shoulders and embellished floral details was paired with a semi-sheer paneled red-pink skirt of sequins and a meandering edge. Tweed returned for the season ahead in an array of style, including a collarless coat-dress trimmed with satin and fastened only at its center.
A tiered skirt in muted pastels of pink, green, and grey-blue was complemented by a white button-down with sleeves rolled up and a faux bow tie “fastened” between the top two buttons. Models in their last looks walked to the end of the runway, then began to take seats of their own, immersed among the celebrity guests.
For the finale, a man in all black guided a majestic stallion carrying the Chanel bride to the center of the arena. She walked around the tranquil set with a long veil trailing behind her, then joined the horse and the man once more. As she exists, she does not return to the tent, but rather passes it. And as she does so, Viard enters behind the horse and down to the arena for her au revoir bow.