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Yesterday afternoon in the heart of the Alpilles, Chanel revealed its Cruise 2021-2022 collection. Presented at the Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux-de-Provence, France, the spectacular limestone quarry provided a setting unlike any other. Within ancient walls, once carved by hand in the Roman era, the atmosphere was prompted by Virginie Viard who was initially inspired by Gabrielle Chanel's close relationship with Jean Cocteau. "Ultimately, through her friendships, it is Chanel—the woman that I love more and more. Her life gives us access to characters just as extraordinary as herself.”
The bond between the two—one of talent, artistry, and curiousity—was a starting point for Viard's latest looks, as was her adoration for the film Testament of Orpheus. Of the film, Viard said, "In particular, this magnificent scene—a man with a black horse's head descends into the Carrières de Lumières, his silhouette cut out against the very white walls."
It was here that Viard made a reenactment of fashionable sorts, showing a contemporary ode to the black and white palette of the equestrian's scene. "Because the simplicity, the precision, and the poetry of Cocteau's film made me want to create a very clean collection, with a very distinct two-tone, made up of bright white and deep black," Viard added.
Set to special musical performances by Angèle, Juliette Armanet, Charlotte Casiraghi, Vanessa Paradis, and Sébastien Tellier, long white shirt-dresses, black macramé capes, white tweed jackets embroidered with lucky charms, and black dresses in velvet and leather beheld our gaze. Mixed among the rich fabrics, the stark white and the pitch black, were added bits of punky flair. Fringed leather skirts, chain-and-pearl belts, feathers in hair, choker necklaces, graphic tees, cuffs worn at the biceps, fishnet tights, CC monogrammed lip rings, and a matching leather set all aided in this rebellious arousal.
"Echoing the extreme modernity of Cocteau's film, I wanted something quite rock," said Viard. "Lots of fringes, in leather, beads and sequins, t-shirts bearing the face of the model Lola Nicon like a rock star, worn with tweed suits trimmed with wide braids, and pointed silver Mary-Janes. A look that recalls as much the modernity of the sixties as that of pun."