After years of epic Chanel show spectacles in the vast Grand Palais, now closed for renovations, Chanel creative director Virginie Viard traded the vast steel-and-glass structure for the legendary Left Bank nightclub Chez Castel opened by Jean Castel in the 1960s. “I wanted to show in a small place, a club”, Viard explained. “I don’t like big rave venues, I prefer that kind of place that is more intimate. Karl was always telling me about the shows he staged in the ’70s with the girls getting dressed on their own in a restaurant in Paris”, she added.
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Models wound their way up and down the club’s labyrinthine staircase in the film shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, which sought to recapture the magic of Paris nightlife, shut down since last October as part of measures designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The Fall/Winter 2021 collection spoke to the kind of nonchalant Parisian chic embodied by the timeless style of Castel’s most famous attendees – women like Françoise Hardy and playwright Françoise Sagan. Slouchy suiting was finished in the brand’s iconic thick tweed, low-rise denim scattered with small Chanel logos, and oversized coats were worn over satin shorts and mini dresses.
Another striking look was the salopettes-ski suits in white quilting embroidered with red and blue motifs – or also in fuchsia tweed, worn with strappy sandals and embellished with chains and little black bows or pumps adorned with a camellia. Another contrasting look was Viard’s delicate chiffon blouses, or her crêpe de Chine blouses paired with pieces inspired by winter sportswear.
This collection is a mix of two influences: the ambiance of ski holidays, which I adore, and a certain idea of cool Parisian chic, from the 1970s to nowVirginie Viard
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