Text by Lucrezia Sgualdino

A portrait of a sensitive and daring Parisienne, with a singular and indefinable charm, sensual and elusive. This is the narrative borrowed by Virginie Viard for Chanel Fall Winter 2023-2024 Haute Couture collection.

The desire to encapsulate within a deep, intimate and personal narrative a clearly recognizable aesthetic that brings together creative feminine elements is the starting point for the development of the French Maison’s new Haute Couture collection. The collection aims to subvert the rules of academicism, telling the whole life story of a Parisienne. The garments describe what she lives, what she sees, reads and thinks, what she expects from life and how she attends to it; all this is carefully studied and analyzed. Indeed, she becomes an example and inspiration for many, nurturing their creativity and inventiveness, as well as their desire to search for a strong and unique, recognizable personality. Through culture, thus film, art, music and fashion itself, she creates her cultural background and enhances her appeal. The collection brings to the stage many elements and details of this world, and does so by moving between sharp contrasts and balances.

“Playing with opposites and contrasts, with nonchalance and elegance, is like standing on a line between strength and delicacy, which, at CHANEL, is what we call allure.”

– Virginie Viard

The feminine universe encapsulated in the défilé is creative and rich, the choice of materials impeccably telling of the many elements the collection aims to represent. The combination of tweed, silk chiffon, organza, and inlaid lace blend with compositions of floral and graphic motifs, telling the dynamism of a feminine world in constant evolution and discovery. Long masculine-inspired coats, light shirts fastened by a belt, embroidered tank tops, flat-pleated gold tweed skirts, embellished vests, tailored-looking pants, sheath dresses with soft draping, and a long black chiffon dress of infinite lightness, glasses are painted and Mary-Janes presented in two-tone. Wicker baskets, a favorite accessory of 1970s Parisians, contains delicate flowers and berries, strawberries and blackberries, which bounce directly off the embroidery on the dresses. The entire collection plays with CHANEL’s codes of rigor and asymmetry, discreet colors and vibrant hues, confidence and discretion.

“If we’re in Paris, and this time we’re in Paris itself, on the quayside. The street and the colorful paving stones call for both sophistication and simplicity.”

– Virginie Viard

Classics are brought back to the stage with research related to practicality. The casualness of a style that is classic and modern, elegant and sophisticated, real and everyday. A simple imagery told by small details. Austerity gives way to the normality of life in Paris, the dream of couture indeed reaches the city streets. To think of a Haute Couture show on the banks of the Seine, with great female icons as the embodiment of Parisian allure, is like embarking on a journey into a world of images and emotions, of clear beauty. Also symbolizing the creative energy that runs through the city is its river, which follows a precise direction but is at the same time open beyond boundaries and, just like Virginie Viard’s collection, meanders around exclusive places that speak the language of history, art and fashion.

“Handing down emotions, bringing the most unlikely elements together, doing things your own way, just dreaming.” 

– Virginie Viard



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