Chanel’s new artistic director Virginie Viard displayed an ode to history, of the French fashion houses’ two most famous couturiers, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld, who’s legacy could certainly be felt inside the elaborate library set concealed within the Grand Palais.
The huge double-tier circular library, could have just been seen as a homage to Lagerfeld, an avid collector of books, apparently he owned thousands, but the show notes describe Viard as “an eternal book lover” and the library really was the perfect backdrop for her bookish couture and nonchalant elegance filled with tweed, delicate embroidered florals, jewel tones, and the brand’s signature skirt-suits.
While this may have been Viard’s first official solo couture show in charge, she has been overseeing haute couture under Lagerfeld since 1997, and her 70-strong couture collection served up serene elegance, showing that this wasn’t her first rodeo in a blockbuster setting proving that she is more than capable since taking over the Chanel design studio from her boss of three decades.
For autumn/winter 2019, the Chanel couture woman is still looking for the fashion house’s signature short skirt suits, with a modern vibrant update in raspberry and orange tones but still with the preppy buttons, as well as bow tie pumps, which are sure to the next Chanel must-have shoe, and they are still favouring tweed, lots and lots of tweed, with coat-and-trouser looks and long tweed coats, which could double as maxi dresses, as well as strapless evening gowns.
There was also a lot of newness with the tweed, notably a bold, confident fuchsia tweed suit with blouson-style jacket styled with a mini skirt and even tweed dungarees, which seemed to target a younger demographic.
Other highlights included 1930s-style wide trousers, which could be seen as a homage to Coco, while the high white feathered collars a nod to Lagerfeld, embroidered sequins and delicate flowers, bolero jackets formed from clustered feather roses, as well as bright colour pops, and full-skirted Fifties-style silhouettes.
All eyes seem to be on whether Viard can drive forward the Chanel brand, from her debut solo couture outing she proved that she has a distinct feminine artistic vision, while respecting the house codes invented by Coco and reinvented by Lagerfeld, but there definitely felt that there was a shift to accessible luxury with everyday clothing being the new luxury.
Images: Chanel Couture AW19, Catwalkpictures
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