MANIFESTO

#63

CHANGE OF SPACE

CHANEL

2023.03.08

THE CAMELLIA IS MORE THAN A THEME

 

The winter camellia flower runs through the Fall Winter 23 collection seeding little signs of joy and romance. Virginie Viard previews the collection with a short film and photo series inspired by the famous movie Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?”.

The main subject of Chanel’s Fall Winter 23 collection is the camellia, not only a flower for the French Maison, but a true symbol of romance and elegance. All the delicacy carried by those white petals is represented on the screens by Nana Komatsu: the Japanese actress, with a short film directed by the duo Inez & Vidooh anticipating the collection, expresses the flower’s grace, through mysterious plays of shadows and contrasts tinged with a hint of surrealism. A small apartment, based directly on the film that inspired the entire realization “Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?”, is where Nana has fun between sophistication and sensitivity. Virginie Viard likes the idea of seeing a young Japanese woman in Paris with a strong spirit of freedom, who during the filming expresses a sense of wonder and at the same time a sense of belonging, the same feelings that the audience feels through the Chanel collection. Along the short we see the carefree actress as she wears a long black and white coat embroidered with the iconic flower of this last season, a tweed suit, a wool sweater with a floral pattern, and very loose pants embroidered with huge petals. The designer not only elevates the camellia as the theme of the collection, but through the short film and later the fashion show, she raises its meaning, becoming the entire symbol of Fall Winter 23.

CHANEL FW23.

“The camellia is more than a theme, it’s an eternal code of the House. I find it reassuring and familiar, I like its softness and its strength.” 

 – Virginie Viard

The winter flower energetically runs through the entire collection, sowing a strong sense of romance, joy and delicacy on the garments. The first look of the fashion show is the same one worn by Nana Komatsu in the short film: a wool coat embroidered entirely with images of camellias, also used in the making of the buttons, covers a tulle dress paired with black lace gloves. Garments that express the character of Chanel in 360 degrees, displaying the sweet yet strong image of the brand that is renewed every year without ever losing its essence. Among the endless expanse of flowers that adorn the first garments, one also glimpses the double crossed C logo, a historical symbol for the French Maison that over the years has transformed garments and accessories into iconic pieces. Virginie Viard explores the beauty of winter through multiple fabrics, patterns and silhouettes: the clothes reveal expressions of the body, volumes created by contrasts and different symmetries. The collar of the black leather trench coats is entirely made with 3D camellias created in the same color and fabric, while the skirts that skim the knee feature small tone-on-tone flowers. Taking a closer look at white lace tights, one notices light embroideries that add a touch of romance to any look; wool sweaters feature voluminous appliqués that appear like modern polka dots, giving movement and vitality to the garment. 

chanel fw23.

Sequins create brightness and figures: maxi sequins cover tops while mini ones are used to make entire pants. Tweed, Chanel’s eternal symbol, returns to the runway revisited according to the characteristics of the winter season, adding small embroideries that to the naked eye seem to be an integral part of the fabric. The emblematic colors of the collection are white, black and different shades of pink, contributing to the romantic and delicate image of the collection: a portrait of an artist woman is developed, confident but known for her gentle soul, bound to her principles, but at the same time free to fulfill herself. The elements of menswear found during the défilé, among which the bermuda shorts, contribute to the bohemian spirit that leads Virginie Viard. Accessories, starting with the camellia-shaped brooches, play a key role highlighting the importance of the flower inserted in every detail: as boot prints, earring pendants, mini bags, entire necklaces and belt buckles.

CHANEL FW23.

“The faded colors, the dusky pink, the crafted pieces, the touches of 1960s and 70s, a certain English vibe, the comfortable, enveloping coats, the authentic materials, make the collection more real, and more charming too.”

– Virginie Viard. 

Every added detail contributes to the importance of the flower’s beauty: the installation in the center of the room is a giant camellia that the models walk around as they parade. The white sculpture, the color of purity, only during the finale does it change color and turn to fuchsia tones, ending in a bright red that colors the entire room. Virginie Viard through the collection gives us a journey, an experience, that begins with Nana Komatsu’s short film, giving us a taste of what we would see, and then spoils the fashion show as an explosion of meaning and feeling. Chanel every time manages to express its romantic essence by renewing itself in details, fabrics, and shapes, always putting the woman at the center: strong, poetic, and elegant.

CHANEL FW23.

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