With all the streaming we did in 2020, was it really any wonder that Virginie Viard would reference the undisputed escapism of cinema for Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2021 presentation? The show – held at the Grand Palais for the last time – riffed on traditional Hollywood themes, including a replica of the legendary Santa Monica hillside sign and dramatic vignettes, with silver screen starlets serving as muse to Viard. Tinseltown echoed through the collection, exhibited best by movie-poster style typefaces on garments and red-carpet-ready sequins. But it was the actress-off-duty style that captivated us most, imagined as casual two piece sets in signature Chanel tweed, wide cut striped trousers, and cosy oversized cardigans worn as dresses. The latter, adhering to house codes in a classic pink with black trim, was juxtaposed against statement jewellery, including an understated tiara. While that might sound like a bit of an oxymoron, perhaps it hints at Viard’s view of what glamour on the other side of the pandemic looks like; restrained and forever changed, but enduring nonetheless.
This is Chanel’s new work of art.