Chanel once again took over the Grand Palais Éphémère to present its Spring/Summer 2023 collection, inspired by the 1961 film ‘’L’Année dernière à Marienbad’’ (Last Year at Marienbad) by French director Alain Resnais. ‘’L’Année dernière à Marienbad’’ is a 1961 film directed by Alain Resnais from a screenplay by Alain Robbe-Grillet. The film is famous for its enigmatic narrative structure, featuring a couple who may (or may not) know each other, and who may (or may not) have been in some kind of relationship with each other.
White, beige, and black blanketed the collection through button-down tweed jackets, minidresses, and swingy short suits. “The films we have seen, those that possess us and those we invent for ourselves, Marienbad, the Nouvelle Vague, the allure according to Gabrielle Chanel, Karl, the night, feathers, sequins, heels: I like it when things get mixed up”, creative director Virginie Viard said in the show notes.
Resnais’s classic wasn’t the only cinematic moment here. Viard had asked Inez and Vinoodh to shoot in Paris a short movie with Kristen Stewart, who has been an ambassador for the French fashion house since 2013, a kind of homage to Marienbad, as an opener for the show. The “Spencer” star leaves a movie theater, wanders the streets of Paris, ascends the famous Rue Cambon Chanel staircase, takes the metro, and answers a reporter’s question with some thoughts about the meaning of life, all the while dressed in the Chanel Spring/Summer collection.
“We’re living in such an accelerated period of growth, it gives me whiplash”, she began.
“It’s exhilarating and it’s highly pressurized because our identities are these lifelong evolving art projects,” Stewart continued. “It’s no longer important to know who you are or even what you want. I think it’s important to burn down your very best yesterday, every day, so you can start again”.
“Of the people around me, she is the closest to Gabrielle Chanel – at least, to my idea of her”, Viard said about Kristen Stewart. In Viard’s imagined collage of glamor, the essence of Stewart’s style influenced the collection with pieces that were cool and edgy with lower-slung silhouettes.