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An Up-Close Look at Chanel’s Fall 2020 Couture Presentation

A feathered mohawk in disarray? Make no mistake. To Virginie Viard, a digital couture showing meant an opportunity to try her hand at what she otherwise might never have on the runway.

At Chanel’s Spring couture outing, Virginie Viard looked to Coco Chanel’s past in moving the house’s couture legacy forward. In particular, she expounded the days Gabrielle Chanel spent at a convent. For Fall, Viard pivoted her focus to a chapter of Karl Lagerfeld’s life. Particularly, “eccentric princesses, the kind of women that Karl Lagerfeld liked to accompany at parties at Le Palace” way back then.

“I was thinking about a punk princess coming out of Le Palace at dawn with a taffeta  dress, big hair, feathers and lots of jewellery,” recalled Viard in the maison’s official statement. The eccentricities of the socialites who used to play muse to Lagerfeld in the early years laid the blueprint for Viard’s Fall couture presentation. Departing entirely turn from the rigidity of the preceding convent-inspired collection, Viard took a no-holds-barred approach with the digital couture collection. Admittedly, Viard had in mind things that she might not have otherwise done in a show.

Feathered mohawk in a disarray and showcases of fine jewellery are cases in point. Looking past the shock value, there’s much that remained true to the house’s signature codes. For instance, tweed is heavily featured throughout the collection rendered in various permutations for daytime and evening wear from classic two piece separates to dresses. The remarkable savoir fare synonymous to the house of Chanel and especially couture also showed itself elsewhere in the Lesage embroidery of of a jacket and diamond-like braiding that adorned the ink black trouser suits.

Inadvertently, viewed through a screen, the awe-striking beauty of the trompe l’oeil in the collection’s pieces might not have entirely translated. This season’s couture showings, presented unlike any other before, has regular showgoers hankering for a return to regular programming more than we might ever have in the last couple of months. Thankfully, the insiders at Chanel echo a similar sentiment. “It’s very weird to have an haute couture presentation without being able to see and touch the product. It’s as if you don’t have the beginning of the story. We try to recreate it, but the result is not as strong as a show,” said Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel’s President of Fashion Activities & President of Chanel SAS, in a phone call with Vogue before the haute couture collection went live on Chanel.com.

We’re eagerly counting down the days to when runway presentations reinstate itself.

What To Read Next: Couture Shows Without the Runway Presentation Just Don’t Cut It, All the Pieces from Gucci’s First-Ever Sustainable Collection, and KULALA Guide: Switching Up Your Room Decor on A Budget | Cover Image: Qide Sim. All Images: Chanel.

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