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This past Tuesday, Chanel returned to Paris’s Grand Palais for the presentation of its Spring/Summer 2021 collection. Models emerged from behind larger-than-life lettering spelling out “Chanel” lit with glittering theatrical bulbs, offering subtle suggestions for what was to come, accordant with Creative Director Virginie Viard’s look to cinematic icons for inspiration.
The season’s designs embodied an attitude of playful debonaire, painting the collection’s black and white foundation with pops of hues like pink, red, and blue. Looks combining house codes with a certain vintage charm reminded us of paparazzi snapshots of off-the-clock movie stars—always stylish and refined, but not necessarily red-carpet-ready.
There were logo prints reminiscent of neon signage, a-symmetric cuts, and strong shoulders and sleeves producing a series of silhouettes that were classic but fun, including pieces like a colorful wrap dress and frock in pink with a boxy top and pleated skirt. Signature Chanel suiting returned with a slightly cropped take on a blazer, paired with pieces like trousers, matching skirts, and silken Bermuda shorts—like our favorite light blue plaid jacket worn over a matching double-breasted vest with a printed blouse and shorts.
Textural details added a sense of upbeat to otherwise understated silhouettes, seen in an all-black look in sequins, a pair of capri pants with a matching bomber in shimmering red, and an A-line dress in intricate lace. More casual looks were elevated through styling and accessories, like a pair of shorts and a loose jersey top worn with leather loafers and a dainty headpiece with tulle or a pair of wide-legged trousers and a bra top paired with a sheer capelet, statement necklace, sunglasses, and a miniature handbag.
Other standout ensembles included a black gown with tiers of feathers, a series of pink sweaters with black piping outlining the details, a collared dress with a pearl belt paired with a pink canvas jacket and matching quilted shoulder bag, and matching pants and button-up styled with strappy sling-back sandals and a colorful tweed coat with hints of red.
In addition to the Chanel runway show and livestream, the collection was accompanied by a special press kit by Inez & Vinoodh. Featuring models Rianne Van Rompaey, Mica Argañaraz, and Louise de Chevigny, the Dutch photography duo captured the easygoing elegance of the looks in four cinematic renderings of everyday happenings—looking out the window, sitting on a bed, on the phone, and strolling through Paris.