The Maison presented its haute couture collection for next season, with a wonderful reinterpretation of the animal world that Cocó Chanel loved so much.
Chanel presented its latest Spring-Summer 2023 couture collection during couture fashion week in Paris. Inspired by the mythical animal sculptures inside Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment at 31, rue Cambon, in Paris, creative director Virginie Viard revealed embroideries of exquisite lightness. The sculptures were design by French artist Xavier Veilhan, who helped Viard bring her vision to life. The set design featured eleven monumental animals made of wood, cardboard and paper. “For (Veilhan’s) third participation, I asked him to reinterpret his own,” she said. “The whole embroidery universe of the collection is turned towards the animal world.”
“I found it interesting to evoke the relationships with animals which are constantly evolving in our societies. This time, I wanted to move towards something immediate and fantasy, without being naïve,” Xavier Veilhan commented.
“From his Parisian studio to the Grand Palais Éphémère, artist Xavier Veilhan muses on the dreamlike animal sculptures that inhabit the CHANEL Spring-Summer 2023 Haute Couture show décor. The bestiary marries his artistic universe with the symbols of Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment at 31, rue cambon, in Paris.” – from CHANEL.
Tall-beast-like sculptures made of cardboard, wood, and paper were ushered in one by one, filling up the space in the middle and suddenly, a number of models clad in the haute couture collection proceeded to escape out of some of the sculptures. The set was transformed into a child-like animal parade of couture elegance. “I like It when the marvellous bursts forth and the course of events is interrupted,” she said.
Creative director found inspiration in the collection of objects, sculptures, drawings Gabrielle Chanel would display in her apartment. The drawings represented lions, does, stags, birds and camels, which were brought to life with embroidered accents to Chanel’s signature tweed pieces to reinterpret classic motifs of the House. Motifs embroidered on short tweed suits and coatdresses include kittens, corgis, rabbits and swallows sharing the limelight with the doves, stags or camellias.
“For the third time, Virginie Viard is working with Xavier Veilhan and it’s a very good starting point for her collection. Virginie loves seeing what he can propose, and it’s a dialogue between them. Here, it’s a new experience, daring to include unexpected elements, which give a story. It’s her vision from Chanel bestiary but a very modern approach,” Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel’s president of fashion, said before the show. “I see more than ever the décor pushing the collection. It’s a placement of the collection,” he also said. “Virginie Viard uses décor to maximize the details, and it’s working pretty well for Chanel. Working with different artistic compositions helps to launch and position the collection. She uses it to give maximum visibility.” He continued.
“The CHANEL suit borrows its codes from the female uniforms of parades and spectacles. Top hat, bow tie, white gloves, laced boots, short shorts, petticoats. Dresses and jumpsuits all in lightness and refinement, superpositions, transparencies, flounces, pleats, fine straps and repainted laces, are crafted in silk tulle, taffeta, organza, georgette crepe and Chantilly lace. And as in every beautiful story, the Spring-Summer 2023 Haute Couture collection, with its fairy parade, closes with the bride in a dress embroidered with swallows.” – from Chanel.
See some of the looks from the runway.