At Chanel’s Cruise ’22 Show, Optimism And Free Spirits Took Flight

by Aaron Royce

Chanel is envisioning brighter days ahead—and they’re already on the horizon, as the brand confirmed a return to in-person shows this summer. The Cruise ’22 collection was displayed today at the Carrières de Lumières (Quarries of Light) in Provence, amidst a backdrop of sunshine and towering limestone quarries.

Between versatile separates with subtle nods towards vintage glamour and references to retro dressing, the aesthetic of choice was off-duty Parisian. Furthermore, togetherness and optimism are on the menu. To whet the appetite, an Inez and Vinoodh black-and-white short film previewed a handful of looks in Gabrielle Chanel’s 31 Rue Cambon apartment. Lighthearted elegance was a clear theme from the get to: models lounged on couches and chairs, and even on the floor, in key ensembles from the collection including a white wraparound jumpsuit, a graphic tee paired with a tweed miniskirt, and a flowing camellia-print dress. The pre-show film seemed to be an ode to the sheltered nature of staying indoors for long periods of time—sound familiar?!—hinted at by the piles of papers, dishes, and magazines in each frame.

The collection’s free spirit was unveiled in blooming color, as models then walked down the quarry’s steps and strode through its courtyard. Many were clad in tulle miniskirts and dresses, layered over fishnet tights and paired with white patent leather ankle boots—a subversive twist on the house’s ladylike dress codes! Alongside traditional cruise wear (bandeau tops, wide-leg trousers, maxi skirts, and a woven bag that’s sure to sell out during VIP pre-orders), youthful twists on versatile pieces sparked our interest when it comes to what we will want to wear in the not-so-far-off, post-COVID future. Two LBDs—one strapless, one sleeveless—were trimmed with purple and white feathers, accessorized with bracelets and layered chokers in what felt like a nod to modern-day flappers.

Complementary white dresses featured 3D floral embellishments in both long-sleeved and off-shoulder styles. Graphic printed tanks and crochet capes catered to both bohemian and androgynous dressers, and eye-catching fringe adorned leather mini skirts, crossbody bags, draped tweed tops, and midi skirts. Some models showcased Chanel logo lip piercings as well—a touching tribute to the late Chanel muse, Stella Tennant, inspired by particular archival images of her. Shoes came in the form of the aforementioned boots, as well as metallic wedged Mary Jane flats. Paired with numerous layered necklaces and a variety of crossbody bags in black and white quilted leather, pale pink faux fur, or gray tweed. All things considered, it appears that “too much” won’t exist in anyone’s sartorial vocabulary next year.

(Courtesy)

The finale was all about peace and togetherness. This happened quite literally, via a cluster of models releasing doves into the sky. It also happened more figuratively, through a special musical set by Sébastian Tellier that featured individual songs with Vanessa Paradis, Charlotte Casiraghi, Juliette Armanet, and Angèle. After the turbulence of the last year, it was soothing to see people experiencing the moment in unison—not to mention, celebrating clothes that are destined to be seen in-person too.

See the full collection below:

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