For Chanel’s Spring-Summer 2023 Haute Couture collection, Virginie Viyard and Xavier Veilhan headed to Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment at 31, Rue Cambon and found inspiration in the collection of objects, sculptures, drawings representing lions, does, stags, birds and camels displayed at this emblematic address. Reinterpreting the apartment’s bestiary in an exquisite way fit for a Couture collection, this world of animals came to life through embroideries on short tweed suits and coat dresses, along with a few of the House’s emblems such as camellias, stags or does.
The show was similar to a festive parade taking place on a village square, where monumental animals made of wood, cardboard and paper by Xavier Veilhan hid models before letting them escape, one by one, to unveil the beauty of these marvels. The Chanel suit borrowed its codes from the female uniforms at spectacles, and therefore featured top hats, bow ties, white gloves, laced boots, satin capes, pleated skirts, jackets that were double-breasted or supplied with tails, tuxedo shirts, sequins, short shorts and petticoats – revealing the poetry of majorettes through Virginie Viyard’s perspective.
The show was later invaded by an air of lightness, as dresses and jumpsuits crafted in silk tulle, taffeta, organza, georgette crepe and Chantilly lace started trotting down the runway to reflect refinement through transparencies, pleats, fine straps and repainted laces. And just like a fairytale, this beautiful story ended with a bride in a dress embroidered with swallows, in a true Chanel way!