Virginie Viard's new couture collection for Chanel is inspired by Gabrielle Chanel's childhood
And it is stunning
When tragic struck the Chanel maison in February 2019 (and the fashion industry, too), many were left to wonder who would be responsible for the creative direction of the maison after Karl Lagerfeld's passing. And when Virginie Viard named as the successor, there couldn't have been a better fit for the trajectory of the fashion house.
Known as Lagerfeld's right and left hand, Viard took full control of the creative direction and started to look at different phases of Gabrielle Chanel's life to execute wistful collections moving forward.
For Haute Couture's Spring/Summer '20 season, Viard delivered masterful creations and a beautiful runway setup that transported us to one of the key places in Gabrielle Chanel's childhood: the cloister garden of the Abbey of Aubazine.
"What I immediately liked was that the cloister garden was uncultivated. It was really sunny," explained Viard. "The place made me think of the summer, a breeze fragranced with flowers. I wanted floral embroideries like an herbarium, delicate flowers. What interested me in this décor was the paradox between the sophistication of Haute Couture and the simplicity of this place."
So, looking at one of fashion's greatest maestros, Viard imagined an adolescent girl's wardrobe, ideally belonging to Gabrielle Chanel, and then transforming into a mature woman that carried a young and affirmed allure.
Exuding a sophisticated charm, uniform dressing in two-tone wool or tweeded dressed emerged on the runway, complete with braided belts, statement collars and matching pea coats.
Thick ankle socks and chunky-heeled shoes added to the 'adolescent' image, however in parallel was paired with bejewelled black suits, cardigan jackets, side-slit skirts and black gowns with exaggerated white collars and cuffs.