CHANEL unveiled their Cruise 2021-22 collection today in a digital presentation from the Carrières de Lumières, in Les Baux-de-Provence, imagined by Virginie Viard. The creative director was standing under the sign of Jean Cocteau where she got inspiration for the collection, “Because Gabrielle Chanel was close to Cocteau, and I love the film Testament of Orpheus. In particular this magnificent scene: a man with a black horse’s head descends into the Carrières de Lumières, his silhouette cut out against the very white walls,” says Viard.
Describing the collection clean, and it is, Viard was guided by Cocteau’s precise poetry in his films, creating two-tone silhouettes of bright white and deep black looks. As you watch the show, the eye catches signature CHANEL silhouettes of tweed jackets and skirts, simple yet distinct House tailoring, but Viard has taken a twist to some looks which are catered to a younger Chanel crowd with shorter and tighter pieces. “Nothing better to capture and reflect the light, so loved by Cocteau and Chanel, than these contrasts between the radiant whiteness of a long shirt-dress and black macramé capes, between a white tweed jacket embroidered with lucky charms and a black dress in velvet and leather,” notes the House in a statement.
“Echoing the extreme modernity of Cocteau’s film, I wanted something quite rock. Lots of fringes, in leather, beads and sequins, t-shirts bearing the face of the model Lola Nicon like a rock star, worn with tweed suits trimmed with wide braids, and pointed silver Mary-Janes. A look that recalls as much the modernity of the sixties as that of punk,” states Viard.
Viard worked with photographers Inez & Vinoodh, to capture six looks in Gabrielle Chanel’s recently restored 31 Rue Cambon Paris apartment for the press kit. “Because it was there that Gabrielle Chanel housed her favourite bestiary, her lions, female sphinxes, but also deer, which are printed, along with other symbols of the House, on a long negligee-style dress in pink-beige and black crêpe. It was also in this apartment that she received her close friends, including Jean Cocteau,” notes Viard.
“Ultimately, through her friendships, it is Chanel, the woman, that I love more and more: her life gives us access to characters just as extraordinary as herself,” she concludes. Ending the digital presentation in the finale, models and Viard release white doves, a nod to the challenging times we’re in, with an eye on peace and hope for a better world.
Watch CHANEL’s Cruise 2021 Collection