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Courtesy of Chanel.
Courtesy of Chanel.
Courtesy of Chanel.
Courtesy of Chanel.
Courtesy of Chanel.
Courtesy of Chanel.
Courtesy of Chanel.
Courtesy of Chanel.
Courtesy of Chanel.
Fashion

Chanel Haute Couture FW21 is an Ode to Impressionism

By Eliza Jordan

July 6, 2021

This morning at the Palais Galliera in Paris, Virginie Viard presented Chanel's Fall-Winter 2021/22 Haute Couture collection. The art and fashion history museum served as the perfect backdrop for the show, as inside, "Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto" is on view through July 18. The exhibition is a chronological ode to the life of the couturière, who pioneered haute couture and beauty with revolutionary creations at that time—from the little black dress to the N°5 fragrance.

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Courtesy of Chanel.

In line with the setting's dedication to art, craft, and fashion, Chanel's latest collection that flooded the steps outside was centered around the act of painting. "It was when I rediscovered these portraits of Gabrielle Chanel dressed up in black or white 1880s-style dresses that I immediately thought about tableaux," said Viard. “Works by Berthe Morisot, Marie Laurencin, and Édouard Manet. There are impressionist-inspired dresses, skirts that look like paintings, and a long white satin dress punctuated with black bows like Morisot's...”

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Courtesy of Chanel.

Mixed among the elegant black and white pieces were bursts of color because, as Viard put it, she loves seeing color in winter's grey months. “I really wanted a particularly colorful collection that was very embroidered; something warm," she added.

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Courtesy of Chanel.

Pieces appear in somewhat of an order, with tweed ensembles in an array of warm blush tones coming first. Dresses with immaculate floral embroidery stand out next, cinched at the waist and tied around the neck with a contrasting black bow. There are dresses embroidered with water lilies, a jacket in a black tweed crafted from feathers with red and pink flowers,” said Viard of the looks that passed by.

Open Gallery

Courtesy of Chanel.

Viard also tapped into the visual splendor of English gardens. “I like to mix a touch of England with a very French style," she said. "It's like blending the masculine and the feminine, which is what I’ve done with this collection, too. That twist is very much a part of who I am.”

Open Gallery

Courtesy of Chanel.

That blend played out in more looks focused on bright hues and crafted florals, with blouses embroidered with pink sequinned motifs and low-waisted multicolored tweed skirts adorned with red, blue, and yellow daisies. Tulle pompoms in pink and yellow embellish a black paletot jacket, and hats pop with plush florals affixed to the underside. A few leisurely looks made their way down the museum's steps, too, evoking the look of satin pajamas elegantly rimmed with lace detailing.

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Courtesy of Chanel.

Of course, there were dresses and gowns that played on proportion and material to enhance dimensionality and silhouette, too. A sleeveless white dress with pompoms and camellias adorning its top burst with flair in short layers of tulle below.

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Courtesy of Chanel.

A black number with puffed strap sleeves featured high slits to the hip, revealing petticoat layers of lush feathers pouring from its sides. And then, we saw the awaited bride—a vision in white that solemnized bridal couture with long sleeves and hemlines, exaggerated shoulders, and a short veil speckled with colorful embellishments pouring from a hidden pillbox hat with a forward-facing bow.

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Courtesy of Chanel.


In celebration of the collection's debut, Sofia and Roman Coppola produced a short film starring the actress and ambassador of the house Margaret Qualley. In the picture, Qualley wears a multicolored A-line tweed skirt and a sequinned tweed jacket over a pink broderie anglaise bustier.

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