Virginie Viard. Chanel Resort 2020

While the MET Gala stole the spotlight from the last few days, it would be great pity to forget about Chanel‘s resort 2020 collection, the first solely designed under Virginie Viard‘s direction. As Karl Lagerfeld would say, the beat goes on, and the brand is moving on after the death of its visionary designer. But I think it’s in good hands – Viard was the closest person to Karl, and understands the brand like no one else. Changes from the Lagerfeld repertoire were subtle, but meaningful. First, the venue. Travel was very much on Virginie’s mind, so Grand Palais was temporarily changed into an elegant train station, with a Belle Epoque café, potted palms and so on. Still, the setting wasn’t as show-stopping as the ones Karl did – which suggests that Viard wants to bring the focus on the clothes. Second, the clothes. They felt… real. A trench coat. Easy-in-approach cardigans with Chanel chains and voluminous pants Coco Chanel would love to wear herself. Jackie-Kennedy-inspired vacation looks. Even the eveningwear seemed to be more approachable. This was a 24/7 wardrobe fit not for a risk-taker, but a self-aware woman with big money in her wallet. Well, that’s Chanel. And Viard delivered this. Let’s see what she bring to the table in in near future.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Farewell, Karl. Chanel AW19

Chalet Camelia. Winter wonderland. Houndstooth coats and tweed hats. Luxe knits and eternal CC logo. Snowball skirts and Choupette fluffiness. Penelope Cruz, Cara Delevigne, Adesuwa, Maria Carla Boscono, Mica Arganaraz, Kaia Gerber, Anna Ewers, Adut Akech and the Chanel girls. Thousand of tears dropped, from Michel Gaubert’s minute of silence to the model’s finale walk (some couldn’t hold the tears). But you surely know all this.

I doubt Karl Lagerfeld would want his last show to be a fussy, overemotional event. His last show was exactly how he planned it to be: as if it was his next collection for Chanel, another fantasy. “Oh! It’s like walking in a painting!” Farewell to the visionnaire, the most prolific, joyous, assertive and energetic designer the world has known, whether you agree with this or not. But those are facts. What will next seasons look and feel like without him? I’ve got no idea. It seemed like he was always there. On the show’s invitation there was Lagerfeld’s last illustration, captioned: “the beat goes on!“. He wanted it to go on, so let’s all look forward to Virgine Viard’s future for Chanel.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Egypt in NYC. Chanel Pre-Fall 2019

Chanel‘s Métiers d’Art shows are the only ones I look at. I love the craftsmanship involved here – it’s different level comparing to the ridiculous ready-to-wear collections, but looks more wearable than in the couture outings. This time, Karl Lagerfeld took his guests to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to pull off an Ancient Egypt-inspired collection. To be honest, most of the clothes looked hideous and even the beauty of the surrounding tombstones and artifacts couldn’t hide this fact. BUT. Some of the details were impressive. The Amarna-inspired make-up. The gold-painted legs of every model. And the opulent appreciation of jewels and everything that’s shiny – a feature of every Egyptian king and queen. Would today’s Nefertiti dress in a Chanel tweed jacket made out of golden threads? Absolutely yes. But will real Chanel customers be able to wear any of this without looking ‘dressed up’ for a theme party? Who knows.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Hamburg. Chanel Pre-Fall 2018

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I adore Chanel‘s Métiers d’Art shows (which work as pre-falls) for the fact they really are about the clothes, not some temporary venues built in the Parisian Grand Palais. Well, the place of yesterday’s fashion show was more than important for Karl Lagerfeld – it was Hamburg, a port city in Germany which happens to be the designer’s birthplace. The building, where the show was staged – futuristic Herzog & de Meuron Elbephilharmonie – was a perfect backdrop for those refined, beautiful clothes. That certain kind of neat elegance, accompanied by classical orchestral music, felt very German. Maison Michel–made nautical tweed caps and navy Guernsey knits nicely matched the marine nature of Hamburg, which up to now was out of the fashion world’s radar. Seems like a perfect wardrobe for now – even though it hits the store late summer…

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.