Review: Chanel Resort 2020

Avant-garde tweeds harmonised in a Belle Époque train station setting prevailed for Virginie Viard’s debut collection as Chanel’s newly-appointed Artistic Director.

Virginie Viard collaborated alongside the late Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel for over three decades. Nonetheless, the latest collection epitomised her first solo show giving homage to the Maison since Lagerfeld’s passing in early February. Presenting the brand’s Resort 2020 show at the Grand Palais in Paris, Viard shepherded into Chanel’s new era staying true to Karl’s staggering vision and eclectic aesthetics.

During his creative tenure at Chanel, Lagerfeld became a noteworthy figure for his powerful catwalk sets and eccentric seasonal themes (shops, airports, spaceships, beaches and many more) all of which enabled him to establish an ageless legacy at the label, likewise an indelible stamp in the world of Haute Couture. The latest collection saw the brand storm its runway in a Beaux-Arts style train station, with models walking on the train platforms alongside the tracks. Another divinely fabled venture, this time symbolised in absence of the emperor himself.

The invitation for Chanel’s show came in a white type of paper surface, characterising a “blank” momentum, abstract definition of re-birth for Virginie and the whole team at Chanel, in preparation of a new chapter in the brand’s history. Counting a total of 79 looks, the collection included countless staple tailored pieces such as tweed and suiting, remaining true to Gabrielle’s and Karl’s vision. However, the imminent era foresees a feminine eminence, decked by the label’s statement pieces such as blouses, belts and dresses. Floaty and sophisticated chiffon dresses featured powerful yet subtle layers of ruffles tinted in pastel hues. Belts were constructed in bag chains. On the other hand, necklines and wrists were layered by jewels and pearls. Of course, tweed was not to be left out neither: a multitude of skirts came high on thighs in the fabric. Furthermore, a masculine edge took its own epic stance, noticed through cropped trousers leading a practical yet chic accent for a woman’s allure, tantalised by structural jackets. Outerwear was also on the forefront of the collection’s finest pieces, which ranged from cardigans to trench coats. The outerwear apparel featured multi-pockets and precise fastenings, adding almost a sense of utilitarianism to the full looks. As for the chromatic game, pops of neon added effervescence to the accessories, including two-toned sets of handbags as well as bum bags accompanied by pink oversized carriers held under the arm, together with micro-quilted bags jazzed up by plenty of decorations.

To an exciting new era for Chanel! Wishing it’ll never lack its undying grace. Cheers to that.

by Chidozie Obasi